The Artsy Squares of Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés is easily one of my favorite churches in Paris. It feels ancient; a reminder of the past in the midst of contemporary Parisian life.

This structure is surrounded by two little squares, each tucked in against the church and chock-full of art. These modest parks have their own distinct character. 


Square Félix-Desruelles, or 'The Porcelain Park'

The most distinctive element of this square is the monumental glazed-ceramic portico. It was created for the 1900 Universal Exhibition to show the skills of the manufacture national de Sèvres (a major porcelain factory).


The square also features a statue of Bernard Palissy, a 16th century artist who crafted epic pottery decorated with reliefs of the local maritime wildlife.



Square Laurent-Prache, or 'The Picasso Park'

In this little park, the enormous bust by Picasso is the centerpiece. Depicting the head of his lover Dora Maar, it was a memorial to the recently deceased Guillaume Apollinaire. 


The statue is surrounded by architectural elements from the ruins of a chapel from 1255. The chapel stood in this place until it was destroyed in 1802 by a doctor who wanted to build his home here, decorated with the ruins.


The squares of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Square Laurent-Prache and Square Félix-Desruelles)

Address: 168 bis, bd Saint-Germain AND rue de l'Abbaye 75006 Paris  ∣  MétroSaint-Germain-des-Prés (line 4) or Mabillon (line 10)

The gardens of the Delacroix Museum are a work of art themselves, and they are located a stone's throw from the church.