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Literature with Paris & Must-see Places in Paris

Paris is the hottest place for art. It is a favorite of many French writers and even world writers. We come across Paris many times in literature, which inspires writers! We have listed the must-see places in Paris for literature lovers.


1. Les Deux Magots

Les Deux Magots
Les Deux Magots

By Cheng-en Cheng CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=92820354

One of the things you will encounter frequently in Paris is cafes. It is common to sit in the cafe, eat, drink or read something. And one of the most famous cafes in Paris is Les Deux Magots.

But the reason why we talk about Les Deux Magots in this article is for those who want to make a literary trip to Paris.

Les Deux Magots has been in existence in Saint Germain des Près since 1885. Famous names such as Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, Bertolt Brecht, Julia Child met here.

This cafe, which is now a touristic place, used to gather these names around it as a school and cause exchange of ideas.

The word "Magot" means "stocky figurine from the Far East". It takes its name from the "two Chinese figures" inside. Located on the corner overlooking the square where Saint Germain des Prés Church is located, the cafe is also interesting because of its location.

Les Deux Magots appears in The Chariot Makers, by Steve Matchett "The first café in the quarter to be blessed by the morning sun. Its clientele pay a healthy premium for drinking there, it’s only fitting they should be the first to catch the warmth of the new day."

Also, The cafe features a scene in the final episode of NBC sitcom The Good Place.

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2. Café de Flore

Café de Flore
Café de Flore

Another of the oldest and best-known cafes in Paris, Café de Flore was frequently visited by the French intellectuals of the period, just like Les Deux Magots.

Named after Flora, the goddess of flowers in Roman mythology, Café de Flore was opened in the 1880s during the Third Republic. Joris-Karl Huysmans and Remy de Gourmont were the first well-known regulars of the cafe. After the Second World War, the cafe became a place where intellectuals gathered to talk about literature, politics, and philosophy.

It is known that Sartre wrote some of his letters to Beauvoir at the Café de Flore.

You can see the cafe in episode 6 of season 1 of Emily in Paris!

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3. Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare and Company
Shakespeare and Company

The books here will make your head spin! Shakespeare and Company, Paris' most famous bookstore first opened in 1919. Later, the owner of the bookstore, Sylvia Beach, closed the shop never to open again due to the second world war. In 1951, the American George Whitman opened a bookstore called "Le Mistral" on the site of the current Shakespeare and Company. Having met Sylvia Beach, Whitman changed the name of her shop to Shakespeare and Company after Miss Beach's death in 1962 to keep her name alive.

It is an extremely famous place in Paris. Now you can sit here and watch the rebuilding of Notre Dame.

Maybe you can come across one of the weekly readings here.

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4. Père Lachaise Cemetery

 Père Lachaise Cemetery
Père Lachaise Cemetery

A place where those interested in literature can go in Paris is the Père Lachaise Cemetery. This is the largest cemetery in the center of Paris. In the cemetery, which was opened in 1804, there are more than 300 thousand graves and the ashes of as many people to date. It has become so famous that there are many famous people buried in this cemetery: Honoré de Balzac, Oscar Wilde, Molière, Marcel Proust, Jean de La Fontaine, and more.

The architect of the cemetery established by Napoleon was Alexandre Théodore Brongniart. Although Le Pere Lachaise was opened with a ceremony where a little girl was buried on May 18, 1804, it was not popular at first because it was located far outside the city.

Le Pere Lachaise became popular when the cemetery's managers moved the tombs of the famous French poet and writer La Fontaine and the famous playwright Molière there.

5. Maison de Victor Hugo

Bedroom where Hugo died
Bedroom where Hugo died

By Md.altaf.rahman, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17335126

Victor Hugo House is one of our Literature stops in Paris, the world's most famous writer, and poet.

Hugo, the author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables, lived in this house from 1832 to 1848, and since 1903 it has been open to visitors as a museum. Hugo completed Ruy Blas here. He moved a year after the publication of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame".

Visiting the museum is free, but if you want to visit the periodical exhibitions, you have to pay an additional fee.

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6. Jardin du Luxembourg

The Luxembourg Garden is located in the 6th district of Paris. It was founded in 1611 by Marie de Medici. This park is considered one of the best examples of the garden design of the Renaissance period.

The reason we add this place is because it is one of the places in Hugo's "Les Misérables" novel. In addition, in the Luxembourg Garden, Bartholdi's first model of the Statue of Liberty and admirable sculptural depictions such as Charles Baudelaire, Beethoven, Paul Verlaine, Georges Sand, and Watteau can be seen and toured.

7. Maison de Balzac

If you like French literature, we can't beat Balzac. His contributions to literature are enormous!