A little bit of History of Saint Germain des Prés !
The Saint Germain des Pres neighbourhood takes its name from the abbey Sainte Vincent founded in 543 by Childebert the first, son of Clovis. He asked advices to the bishop Germain. The Abbey was renamed church of Saint Germain des Pres after he died at the 7th century.
This district of Paris became after that, at the 19th century, the meeting point of famous writers such as Racine, Balzac or George Sand as well as painters, Delacroix or manet as well as actors. Thanks to their attractions, tradespeople or restaurateurs developed activities around the church and it is only at the 20th century, that literary cafes started to open up such as Les deux Magots, le Flore or la Brasserie Lipp. During the Second World War, when people were obliged to attend a curfew, these coffee shop became the last places for meeting and exchanges inside the occupied city.
The neighbourhood has then started to become the reference in terms of art and culture with the expansion of theatres and the representations of Samuel Beckett or Jean Cocteau and the venue of other artists such as Picasso or singers as Leo Ferre, Charles Aznavour or Charles Trenet. Jazz music took over the caves of Saint Germain des Pres and is now the reference for Jazz clubs within the capital.
After art and culture, the world of mode and luxury started to find interest out of the neighbourhood in order to have their boutiques in this famous district. In the 60’s, famous big luxury brands such as Yves Saint Laurent and Sonya Rykiel took possession of shops in the streets of Saint Germain. Nowadays, more and more luxury brands are competing against each other to own a spot in those streets: Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Cartier, Hermes or Ralph Lauren.