Due to their cultural and political significance and with the invaluable help of the movies, which have created them an image as protagonists of dreams and myths, the historical Parisian cafes have somehow being able to become a true legend.
The first of all of them, chronologically, is the very distinguished Café Procope, which is located on the number 13 of Ancienne Comédie’s street. Its close link with the world of theater started back in 1689, three years after its opening, when the Comédie-Française’s headquarters were established right across the street. Molière, Rousseau Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson, Robespierre and Marat are just some of the clients that used to frequent this historical café.
Café de la Paix
We can however identify the beginning of the real golden age of Parisian cafés during the second half of the nineteenth century with a new city full of wide boulevards designed by Baron Haussmann. This is the time of great cafes and among them, few as elegant as the Café de la Paix, which is located at the intersection of the Boulevard des Capucines and Opera Square. There it is still possible to feel the spectral presence of Diaghilev and Nijinsky among its tables, who were actually regulars during the time when their Russian Ballets decisively transformed arts, theater and music in the early decades of the twentieth century.
By then, the ideological, literature and artistic vanguards begun to find cafes in other areas, mostly in Montparnasse and Saint Germain des Prés districts. Opened in 1927, the giant La Coupoule became very famous, not only for its distinguished clientele recruited from the ranks of surrealism and existentialism, but also because of the unconventional columns decorated with murals. Its strong influence between the worlds of the “counterculture” of the time competed in the interwar period with its neighboring Le Select that even today serves as a magnet to a select group of new artists, filmmakers and writers.
Les Deux Magots and Le Café de Flore
However, among the world of the arts, probably there is no other café exceeding milestones as the legendary Les Deux Magots (at number six of Saint Germain des Prés square) and Le Café de Flore (corner of Boulevard Saint Germain and Saint Benoit Street), this last one offers a remarkable example of Art Deco with its memorable classic interior decor. There is literally no major cultural movement in the last hundred years that didn’t have one of the two cafés as a leading epicenter.
If you rent apartments in Paris , you’ll be able to discover worlds of rich textures and aromas that unfold to infinity. In these fascinating places is possible to measure, perhaps like no other place in the city, the real pulse of Paris.