5th-arrond cut

The bustling Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement

In our first of a series of exposés, ÉCU will bring you tips and insights into a different quartier of Paris with each newsletter. By the time the festival rolls ’round, you’ll be able to fit in like a true Parisian! (That does not mean buying a beret with the Eiffel tower on it and trying to look intellectual….)

We are kicking off with the 5th arrondisement, home of Le Grand Action. The fifth is also known as the Latin Quarter not for its wealth of dodgy salsa clubs but because it is the home of the second oldest university in Europe, the Sorbonne. When the university was founded in 1253, Latin was the common language. (Now, of course, Latin speakers are harder to find but you could always have a go!).

You can get a taste of medieval Paris by perusing the small and windy streets of the Latin Quarter for it is one of the few places Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann left mostly untouched when the city was renewed in the mid-nineteenth century.

Today however the fifth is most famous for its cinèmas, thirteen which are squished into 2.541 km² (0.981 sq. miles). Who needs to see Paris when you can spend all day watching films, whether it be an old classic or the latest blockbuster!

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