Situated in the heart of the 9th district, the Saint Georges district
took the name News-Athens at the beginning of the 19th century. With its many small mansions, lived by the actresses or writers, this part of the 9th district was the centre of the romantic life between 1830 and 1850. Many artists lived there, and today, in 16 rue Chaptal, the “Museum of the Romantic life
”, dedicated to this rich period can be visited.
Between 1830 and 1858, the painter of Dutch origin Ary Scheffer received there the whole of the intellectual and artistic world of Paris. Illustrious artists as Delacroix, Chopin, George Sand, Liszt, Rossini or Lamartine frequented his workshop-salon.
The fountain on the place Saint Georges
served for a long time for making the horses drink, until the works of construction of the subway dry up the spring. In 1911, at its centre the fountain was topped by the bust of the Paul Gavarni who made a speciality of lampooning the mistresses that were “de rigueur” for bourgeois males at the time.
This was the "mistresses" quarter and they were known as Lorettes, after the church Notre Dame de Lorette
, built in 1823 by Hippolyte Lebas in the Neoclassical style.
On the west side, the Hotel Thiers
, which was destroyed in 1871 by the Communards but quickly rebuilt. It is now a huge library specializing in nineteenth-century history. Its former gardens are now the public garden Alex-Biscarre
where the pupils can relax and play after their hard school day.
It is to note that it is in the Saint Georges theater
that François Truffaut shot his film the “Le Dernier Metro” , making by the same a double return on the past: his own and that of France under the German occupation.
Today, the district, more quiet maybe than in 19th century, kept its charm and one can only advise the dreamer to go for a quiet walk to the Museum Grévin
, through the magnificent covered passages immortalized by the photographer Robert Doisneau, the passage of the Panoramas
, built in 1800 and which was the first public place lit in the gas, and the passages Jouffroy and Verdeau, where the amateurs of old books will find to glean.