A student district, a political district, a literary district, a historical district, a family district, a residential area, St Thomas Aquinas is at the heart of Parisian life. It is the aristocratic counterpart of St Germain des Près, its sister parish, separated by rue des Saints Pères.
Here, behind the facades of the magnificent private mansions in rue Grenelle, rue Verneuil, and rue Varenne, or in the superb Haussmann style buildings on the boulevard Saint Germain, the destinies of France are sometimes forged. Those loud and lively students, leaving Science-po Saint Guillaume, may one day occupy one of the beautiful ministries that abound in the neighbourhood. One of the young people drinking on the terrace of Le Bizuth or LeRouquet is perhaps a future author that will be published by Gallimard - a stone's throw away. Even a Goncourt prize, who knows? Literature has always been well received in these calm streets where writing is easy: Gide lived in rue Vanneau, Malraux in rue du Bac; Apollinaire, Chateaubriand, Alphonse Daudet, the Comtesse de Ségur... and Serge Gainsbourg, all spent their last days here.
Just sit on a bench to see the spirit of Paris pass by. And it runs like the wind!
Another neighbourhood where you can live self-sufficiently. A little shopping in the superb Monoprix on rue de Montalembert; books from the excellent Gallimard bookstore on boulevard Raspail; some cheeses from Barthélémy, rue de Grenelle; a drink in the bar of Hôtel Pont Royal; and then the innumerable restaurants which call out: the gourmet Racines des Prés opposite St. Thomas Aquinas; the marvellous Atelier de Robuchon; the discreet Bistro de Paris, rue de Lille, which rubs shoulders with the astonishing Climats, in the old telegraph centre...
Why go elsewhere, when everything is on the doorstep?
For years, lovers of the weird and wonderful have climbed the stairs of 46 rue du Bac, where the extraordinary store named Deyrolle is hidden. A palace of taxidermy, it is an immobile zoo, home to lions, elephants, tigers, birds, and insects. A silent Noah's Ark that will delight young and old alike!