One of the largest and most beautiful churches in Paris, the Église Saint-Sulpice started out as a simple chapel in a charming little hamlet on the edge of the capital's ramparts in the 12th century.
After undergoing several architectural transformations, it was majestically redesigned by Servandoni in the 18th century. Its façade continues to captivate those who walk by it, and houses Delacroix's famous Chapelle des Saint-Anges.
The surrounding area remains a delightful village that sits in the shadow of the venerable church, which has become the quintessence of Parisian life and the district that bears its name.
Like a sundial, the square ticks off the hours as it illuminates, with the Café de la Mairie remaining a constant. Here, time flies by with nonchalance and extravagance - Georges Perec even wrote about it and described the Café's rich history.
This chronicle of life on Place Saint-Sulpice and the ballet of passers-by - elegant ladies, workers on their hard-earned lunch break, friends sharing an aperitif or students escaping the boulevards to grab a coffee - could have been written today.
There is an unmistakable Parisian joie de vivre found in the shadow of the Église Saint-Sulpice.
A marvel of Baroque architecture in the heart of Paris, the area bears witness to Catherine de Medici's nostalgia for her native Florence, from the Luxembourg Gardens, inspired by Boboli Gardens, to the Place Saint-Sulpice, where a certain southern glamour is ever present.
The clientele, more discreet than that of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, is more reserved and also more varied. Young families mingle with older ones, as well as the artists, intellectuals, manufacturers and finance workers who all reside in the neighbourhood, which they share with a large international clientele who come to live or have a pied-à-terre in this iconic part of historic Paris.
The market here is one of the most steady and sought-after in Paris.
The gentle pace of life in the area can be enjoyed in all its forms, from a walk at daybreak across Place Saint-Sulpice to the comforting restaurants on Rue Servandoni where Bon Saint-Pourçain is top of our list, or the small Italian restaurants on Rue Canette.
Not to be missed
Meander along the charming Rue Férou and stop long enough to be transported by the "Bateau Ivre" (The Drunken Boat), a 300 sq.m (3,230 sq ft) fresco depicting Arthur Rimbaud's famous poem. It is painted on the wall of the tax office now, but this building is believed to have once been the restaurant where the 16-year-old poet first recited this poem.
Further down this same street, Man Ray's tiny and charming former Paris studio can be found.
And there we have it, a stroll through the secrets of mythical Paris.