Le Quartier Latin: A History


Quartier Latin: Lively and Historic

One of my favorite areas in Paris is the Quartier Latin. And of course the naive California girl in me associated the word Latin with Latino and thought this is where I get good Mexican food. Don't worry, I quickly realized my mistake when I remembered that Latin comes from southern Europe, not Latin America. Oops! But even with my mishap I have grown to love this neighborhood. So here's some history on it.

A Roman Area

Back before Paris was the city that we know it to be, it used to be under Roman control. The Romans settled on the Left Bank, just south of Ile de la Cité, which is today the Latin Quarter. So from the very beginning of the city, the neighborhood was already known to be Latin in heritage.

A Student Neighborhood

In the 12th Century, the area became known for all of its schools. So it quickly became dominated by students. And of course the Sorbonne being in the area only added to the new reputation of the area. To this day, the 5th Arrondissement is known for being the student neighborhood.

Moussaka from a Greek Restaurant 

Latin Language

The Latin Quarter got its name because of the language spoken in the neighborhood. Schools back then used to speak Latin, so the area became known as the Quartier Latin because of the language spoken in the area.

Now Full of Tourism

Today the Quartier Latin is known for its winding streets, abundant gift shops, and tons of restaurants, with waiters standing in the streets to lure you in. And while the hustling frustrates me, there are quite a few good diamonds in the rough. The area is known for its good Italian food and Greek food. So now I like to head there for a good meal.

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