The Île Saint-Louis: An Island Gem in the Heart of Paris

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The Île Saint-Louis: An Island Gem in the Heart of Paris
You might think the Île Saint-Louis is all about Berthillon ice cream. And you would be partially—and deliciously—right. The famous brand has been one of the island’s claims to fame for more than 65 years.  But . . . there are many other treasures to discover. A Quick Quiz Let’s see how much you already know about the island (sans Google). The island is connected to the left bank, right bank, and Île de la Cité. How many bridges are there, and which is the oldest? What famous poet created a hashish club at the Hôtel de Lauzun on Quai d’Anjou? Name three iconic Paris landmarks that you can see from the Île Saint-Louis. Who is the island named after? (And, no, it’s not as easy as who is buried in Grant’s tomb. Be specific about the numeral.) What French sculptor had a studio on the island (Quai de Bourbon)? You’ll find the answers in this article, so read on (but try the questions first). Discovering the Île Saint-Louis While the Île Saint-Louis gets hype as an upscale island, providing a home to millionaires and celebrities seeking privacy, it is really a relatively quiet village with friendly merchants who know your name and cherish your friendship. The less-than-one-square kilometer area seems to defy Einstein and offer an expanded universe of history and storytelling. The island was once called Île aux Vaches (Cow Island), because it was an island dedicated to grazing cows for the more inhabited Île de la Cité next door.
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Lead photo credit : Photo © Meredith Mullins

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Meredith Mullins is an internationally exhibited fine art photographer and instructor based in Paris. Her work is held in private and museum collections in Europe and the U.S. and can be seen at www.meredithmullins.artspan.com or in her award-winning book "In A Paris Moment." She is a writer for OIC Moments and other travel and education publications.

Comments

  • Lee Hubert
    2020-08-21 08:58:25
    Lee Hubert
    Dear Meredith, Thanks for this lovely article on the Ile St Louis, one of my favorite places in Paris, even though I regret its gentrification -- it was quite different in the 1960s. As an oldtimer in Paris, I got almost all the questions right -- only Louis IX escaped me, but I learned about a couple of things I will look for the next time I'm there -- the sculpture of the poet and the old street marking of the rue de la femme sans teste. Paris is so fascinating. There's always something new to discover!

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