There are twenty neighborhoods in Paris also known as arrondissements. Each arr. has distinct characteristics; here’s what can be found in the fifth.
Located on the left bank of the Seine River, the fifth arrondissement is one of the most centered neighborhoods of Paris. The arrondissement is in what is know as the Latin Quarter, notable for its influential colleges and universities. The 5th arr. is also one of the oldest districts of Paris, dating back to ancient times. There are many sights to see in the fifth arr. including over nine churches. Here are some stops that shouldn’t be over-looked.
The Sights of the Fifth Arrondissement
Fountain St. Michel- constructed in 1860 by Architect Gabriel Davioud during the Second French Empire the fountain was a part of a large movement to reconstruct Paris. Davioud was a trained neoclassical sculptor from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and the large scale (26 meters by 15 meters) and the elaborate iconography he created for the fountain required the work of nine different sculptors.
The Pantheon- from a far the Pantheon dominates the 5th arrondissement with its overall size. The building contains the remains of many notable French Citizens, such as Voltaire, Rousseau, and Victor Hugo to name a few. Marie Curie was the first woman buried in the Pantheon, for her contributions to science.
The Natural History Museum- founded during the French Revolution though its origins began in the Royal Medicinal Plant Garden. In recent decades, it has directed its research and education efforts at the effects of human exploitation on the environment.
Some of The Many Churches in the Fifth Arrondissement
Saint-Etienne-du-Mont- sits only a few yards away from the Pantheon. The shrine of St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris sits within the church. It also contains the tombs of Jean Racine and Blaise Pascal.
Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre- the church of Saint Julien the poor is one of the oldest religious buildings in Paris. The original design of the church was changed many times leaving the building much smaller than had been planned.
Le Mosquee de Paris- this Paris mosque was built in 1922. It’s divided into three sections: religious- with worship room, scholarly, and commercial with a cafe and court yard.
The fifth arr. is a great neighborhood to visit, not only for its rich history but also for the lively atmosphere and bistros that fill the Latin Quarter. Looking for more to see in this arrondissement? Check out the many colleges and univerisities, Ecole normale superieure, is one of the most prestigious schools in Paris. It has a long list of notable alumni, including 12 Nobel Peace Prize winners.