CULTURE

The most iconic cafés of Paris: a plunge into the art and haunts of the great artists of the past

For at least a couple of centuries, Paris was the center of the European literary world. Between the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries, the French capital hosted to scholars, writers, painters, and men of letters of all kinds who would gather in the fledgling cafés.

Eating a good meal, bathed in thick cigarette smoke, these great personalities of world culture would discuss art, politics, science and the latest social innovations that were fermenting in the assemblage of diverse cultures that was Paris.

Some of these cafes still exist, although different from those of the time. We want to take you on a short journey to discover these magical places. And if you want to drop in on us on your next trip to Paris, don't thank us.

Wikipedia.org
The most iconic cafés of Paris: a plunge into the art and haunts of the great artists of the past
For at least a couple of centuries, Paris was the center of the European literary world. Between the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries, the French capital hosted scholars, writers, painters, and men of letters of all kinds who would gather in the fledgling cafés. Eating a good meal, bathed in thick cigarette smoke, these great personalities of world culture would discuss art, politics, science and the latest social innovations that were fermenting in the assemblage of diverse cultures that was Paris. Some of these cafes still exist, although different from those of the time. We want to take you on a short journey to discover these magical places. And if you want to drop in on us on your next trip to Paris, don't thank us.
Jean-Marie Hullot from France - Wikipedia.org
Le Cafe Procope - 3, rue de l’Ancienne Comédie
Cafe Procope is the oldest café in Paris and, according to some, also the oldest in Europe. Today it has been converted into a restaurant. It is said that sorbet, the ancestor of modern ice cream, was invented here.
Flickr: *Checco* / Francesco - Wikipedia.org
Le Cafe Procope - 3, rue de l’Ancienne Comédie
This place during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was frequented by so many prominent people, not just artists. Voltaire, Diderot and Rousseau talked about politics and philosophy. In the 1800s it was also frequented by Paul Verlaine, Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset and Honoré de Balzac. La Fontaine and Napoleone were also patrons of this magical place.
Pubblico dominio, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?
Cafe de la Paix - 5, place de l’Opéra
This 1890 photograph shows the former splendor of the place, originally built as the café of the Grand Hôtel de la Paix. It became famous thanks to the 1867 World's Fair, but it was not until 1875, with the opening of the Operà, that it became famous among artists.
Britchi Mirela - Wikipedia.org
Cafe de la Paix - 5, place de l’Opéra
Its prestigious guests include the writer Émile Zola, Guy de Maupassant, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, André Gide and of course Ernest Hemingway.
Di Agence Rol - Bibliothèque nationale de France, Pubblico dominio, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w
Cafe de la Paix - 5, place de l’Opéra
In 1975, this place was declared a French national monument.
Flightlog - Wikipedia.org
La Rotonde - 6-8, place de la Bataille de Stalingrad
La Rotonde made a huge contribution in moving the artists' area from Montmartre to the area of Montparnasse. This place became a destination not only for Parisian artists but also for many American writers who spent a lot of time in the French capital during those years.
Olga Khomitsevich - Wikipedia.org
La Rotonde - 6-8, place de la Bataille de Stalingrad
Famous frequent visitors include Guillaume Apollinaire, Amedeo Modigliani and some surrealists such as André Breton, Louis Aragon, Jacques Prévert and Raymond Queneau. Frequent Americans include Hemingway, Francis Scott Fitzgerald and Henri Miller.
Britchi Mirela - Wikipedia.org
Cafe de Flore - 172, boulevard Saint-Germain
One of Paris' iconic cafes, it is still an important point for French culture. In fact, every September the jury of the Prix de Flore, which awards a talented young author, meets here.
Celette - Wikipedia.org
Cafe de Flore - 172, boulevard Saint-Germain
In this place so rich in history, Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir spent almost 8 hours a day in the twentieth century. Albert Camus, Boris Vian and Jacques Prévert would meet here very often to discuss existentialist theories.
Celette - Wikipedia.org
La Closerie de Lilas - 172, boulevard Saint-Germain
Like La Rotonde, this place has also gone down in history for being one of the main gathering places for American artists visiting Paris. Zolà made it famous, becoming its meeting place.
Di CPA - Delcampe, Pubblico dominio, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2380149
La Closerie de Lilas - 172, boulevard Saint-Germain
A many great artists frequented this place, making it one of the most important in all of Paris and prominent even among the close circle of artists. Paul Verlaine and Guillaume Apollinaire met there every Tuesday. Among the Americans we can remember Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Miller. Other artists who frequented this venue were: Amedeo Modigliani, André Breton, Aragon, Kees Van Dongen, Pablo Picasso, Gino Severini, Jean-Paul Sartre, Giuseppe Ungaretti, André Gide, Paul Éluard, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Man Ray, Ezra Pound, Jean-Edern Hallier, Ugo Giannattasio.
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