5th Arrondissement

The Fifth Arrondissement is located on the Rive Gauche (Left Bank) of Paris. The foundations of the Fifth date back to the Roman period of Lutèce. Since that time the area has transformed itself into a center of learning. This is most evident in the Quartier Latin (Latin Quarter), which is named after the language that was frequently heard around the universities of the area during the Middle Ages. Today the Fifth is home to several Universities and world-class high schools. The Fifth is far from just a University district, however. Indeed the Fifth, although heavily influenced by intellectuals and the young, has much to offer to everyone. Having a Paris apartment in the Fifth affords one the ability to live simultaneously among ancient and medieval history, as well as the present and future.

Living in a Paris apartment in the Fifth is an incredible historical opportunity. Few would think of discovering Ancient Rome in Paris, but the Fifth is replete with Ancient Roman sites to be explored. The Arènes de Lutèce, for one, was a Roman amphitheater that was used to entertain the inhabitants of Lutèce. In fact, this amphitheater presented theater productions, as well as gladiatorial combats, to crowds of 15,000. Today visitors can walk around the arena. Not far from the amphitheater are the remnants of the Thermes de Cluny. This one time massive complex was a Roman bath. Only one-third of it is left today, with the only fully intact part being the frigidarium, or the cold water pool. Portions of the Thermes de Cluny can be visited as a part of the Musée National du Moyen Age (National Museum of the Middle Ages). This of course gives the visitor the chance to also discover much of medieval France’s history. Of particular interest in the museum is the collection of tapestries, including the famous La Dame à la Licorne. Relating to more recent history is the Greek inspired Panthéon in the Latin Quarter. Originally built as a church in the 18th century, this magnificent structure has become a secular mausoleum that contains the remains of many of France’s greatest children.

Having a Paris apartment in the Fifth is about much more than history though. The Fifth also has great cultural sites. This includes the 19th century monument of the Fontaine de Saint-Michel which stands near the Seine. This large and incredible fountain depicts the Archangel Michael fighting the devil. It is the center piece of a square which is often full of street performers during the summer months. Also on the banks of the Seine in the Fifth are the Musée de la Sculpture en Plein Air and the Jardin des Plantes. The former is an open air park filled with over fifty sculptures. The latter is a botanical garden and small zoo. Both of these sites make for exquisite summer days. Finally, there is also the Institut de Monde Arabe, which is a collaborative project between 18 Arab states and France. The project is meant to promote Arab culture, as well as reinforce links between France and the Arab world. The Institute, in working towards it goal, contains many facilities that are open to the public, including a museum, library, restaurant, and auditorium. These cultural aspects of the Fifth make it a great place to have a Paris apartment.

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