Right in the center of the latin quarter
There are any number of pleasant walks and interesting sights to see around the Elysa-Luxembourg hotel. Depending on the occasion, you can visit the historical buildings in the immediate vicinity, do some window-shopping, watch the world go by from a street café or explore a secluded square away from the traffic.
The Latin Quarter is still the centre of Parisian student life today. It takes its name from the universities founded in the Middle Ages, the medical faculty or Sorbonne, where instruction was handed out in Latin. Today, it is one of the liveliest areas of Paris, the meeting place for students … and everyone else! People come here to spend a relaxed evening in one of the countless restaurants, to have a drink with friends, take in a film, do some shopping, stroll around the art galleries or hunt for bargains in the antique shops.
The Luxemburg gardens, nicknamed Luco, were created at the beginning of the 17th century by Queen Marie de Médicis, wife of King Henri IV. Today the gardens cover an area of twenty three hectares, and also house the Luxemburg Palace, where the Senate sits.
Close by, at the top of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, stands the tall silhouette of the Pantheon, an 18th century building that was a church before it became the burial place of the “Great Men” of the nation. The people interred here include writers such as Voltaire and Victor Hugo, politicians such as Gambetta and Jaurès, scientists such as Pierre and Marie Curie.
The boulevard Saint-Michel, cut at the end of the 19th century by Baron Haussmann, connects the Luxemburg gardens to the Seine, passing alongside the Thermes de Cluny. Along the quays the small shop fronts of the second-hand booksellers, called bouquinistes, are lined up. They specialise in old books, and have been present on the banks of the Seine for several centuries. Beyond is the île de la Cité, with the Palais de Justice and Notre Dame cathedral, the building of which began in the 12th century, to be completed nearly two hundred years later.