The 7th arrondissement is a great place for a quiet stroll. It is bordered by the Eiffel Tower on one side and St Germain des Près on the other, is home to the spectacular gold domed Invalides (a military hospital and final resting place of Napoleon) and remains very residential and peaceful.
Three main streets run through the 7th: the rue St Dominique, rue de i’Université and the rue de Grenelle, the area I explored here lies between the Eiffel Tower and the Invalides and is known as the Gros Caillou (or big rock, it seems there probably was one here many years ago). The rue St Dominique particularly is a favourite of mine, for its great food shops and lively but relaxed, typical Parisian buzz.
The area is also home to some beautiful art deco buildings, particularly along the riverside on the Quai d’Orsay, formerly the site of a large tobacco plant that we can still see references too in the friezes on some of the buildings.
Some of the city’s most spectacular art nouveau buildings can also be found in the Gros Caillou, most notably those designed by Jules Lavirotte in the early 1900’s.
And as always in Paris, don’t forget to explore the courtyards and passageways, they always hide some hidden treasures and rarely disappoint.
- Le Gros Caillou. Area between the Eiffel Tower and the Invalides, 75007 Paris. metro: La Tour Maubourg