Paris comprises 20 arrondissements municipaux or 'administrative districts'. The Place St-Michel is found on the border of the fifth and sixth arrondissements in the Latin Quarter, the left bank Bohemian magnet for artists, writers and revolutionary students where Hemingway spent much of his time.
The Boulevard St-Michel and the Boulevard St-Germain are the two major thoroughfares of the Latin Quarter. Near their point of intersection, on Boulevard St-Michel, stands the Cluny Museum, a medieval townhouse which exhibits an impressive collection of art and culture from the era.
Described as 'one of the most interesting parts' of the Latin Quarter, the Place de la Contrescarpe 'is a crossroads where old and new Paris meet.' Today the 'idyllic square incorporating the haute classe [high class] of Parisian cafe culture and the underground world of privately owned book shops' gives rise to 'an aging book worm slowly sifting his way through the dusty pages of first time editions'.
In an excerpt from The Time Out Book of Paris Walks, Michael Palin writes that his tour of the Hemingway sites 'begins here in this wonderful narrow crowded market street. Which is pretty much the way it still is. A working neighborhood, not yet a tourist ghetto [...] Most mornings there is a street market in the rue Mouffetard and the smells of fresh-baked bread, cheese, coffee, crepes, roasting chicken, almonds, herbs, sausages, shellfish and everything the French find so important in life induce a series of small olfactory orgasms as you start to climb the steeply sloping cobbles.'
Of the Cafe des Amateurs, Palin states that 'it's reincarnated as the cafe La Chop, a cheerful, unselfconscious place popular with students from the local lycees.'
The rue du Cardinal Lemoine is where Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, took an apartment. Michael Reynolds highlights that Hemingway, 'whose first impressions of the Montparnasse artsy crowd was negative', spurned residences in the Luxembourg Gardens and Montparnasse: Perhaps because of Belloc's romantic descriptions of the Latin Quarter but partly because the price was right, Hemingway took, instead, a fourth-floor walk-up in the oldest part of the Left Bank: 74 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, just off the Place de la Contrescarpe. (Hemingway the Paris Years, p. 16).
'By then,' clarifies David Burke, 'he was already cultivating his diamond-in-the-rough persona, and it suited him to be living among real people, rather than the eggheads in the Latin Quarter or the expatriate phonies in Montparnasse.'
In Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure, he tells us: The look of the surrounding neighborhood which Hemingway brings to life in such scabrous detail in the first chapter of "A Moveable Feast" cannot have changed that much. The buildings have aged a little - they seem to be tipped back at a slant to the street, leaning towards each other at odd angles as if tired of standing upright, but they are the same buildings. Around the corner in rue Descartes there still stands the one-time hotel where a wall-plaque says Verlaine died and in which Hemingway took a garret room to write.
Michael Reynolds elaborates: No one who visited the Hemingways on Cardinal Lemoine quite understood why they lived as they did. The apartment was not convenient to a Metro shop; only the wandering green autobus gave transportation. It was in a working-class neighborhood without great charm or decent restaurants. From the blue collar bal musette at street level came accordion music and easy laughter from locals -- quaint perhaps but not always desirable. Their fourth-floor walk-up consisted of only two rooms with a tiny kitchen appended. The dining room was so small that when Hadley put her rented piano into it, the table had to be moved to the bedroom. (p. 16)
First opened in 1847, La Closerie des Lilas -- which was just around the corner from Hemingway's rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs apartment -- soon became a favourite writing spot for the author. The cafe, whose name means 'a small enclosed lilac garden', still stands today at the corner of boulevard du Montparnasse and boulevard St. Michel. Its popularity was not limited to Hemingway and the 'Lost Generation', with a list of great names reported to have walked through its doors: 'Years go by and generations follow generations... while the tradition of the Arts lives on at La Closerie'.
Though often criticised as partly responsible for Napoleon Bonaparte's defeat at The Battle of Waterloo, Marshal Ney's performance and bravery in leading the rearguard in the 1812 retreat from Russia was legendary. The statue, which stands on the corner next to the Lilas, marks the spot where the marshal was executed. (More information in the bookmark for page 19).
Surrounding the beautiful 17th century Luxembourg Palace, the Luxembourg Gardens cover 25 hectares on the Left Bank of the city. Both the gardens and palace were constructed for French queen Marie de Medicis in the years 1615-1627. The architect, Salomon de Brosse, based the design on a Florentine palace to reflect Marie's home.
In late January 1924, the Hemingways returned from Toronto expecting to move into Ezra Pound's small studio apartment (at 70 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs) until they found new lodgings. However, with Pound and his wife Dorothy still away in Italy and the concierge refusing them entry, Hemingway was forced to rethink his plans.
Although rental prices had risen sharply -- 'prices in Paris had risen as the franc fell in value. With 32,000 permanent American residents and twice that many British, the city offered no cheap accommodations' -- Hemingway now had a baby to consider, so he signed the lease on an apartment at 113 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs on 8 February.
Hardly ideal, the second-floor flat was three times the price of their old apartment, had no electricity and was directly underneath a saw mill. It was, however, a better location at least:
Here they were only a few minutes walk from the Notre-Dame-des-Champs Metro station, the Luxembourg Gardens, Sylvia's bookshop and Gertrude's place on rue de Fleurus. The neighborhood was less working class, less down at the heels. At one end of the street stood the Clinique d'Accouchement [maternity hospital], for which both Ernest and Hadley hoped they would have no use. (In his 1924 day book, mostly blank, Ernest was keeping careful track of Hadley's monthly periods.) (Michael Reynolds, Hemingway the Paris Years, p. 162-163).
Montagne Sainte-Geneviève is the hill in the 5th arrondissement that holds both the Pantheon and the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève. In the 1920s and 1930s, at the height of the Jazz Age, the area was also home the the darker side of night-time activity in the 'City of Lights', and it was here in the murky world of the bals musette, or dance halls, that one of the most famous musicians to emerge from the era -- Django Reinhardt -- began to make a name for himself. The bal on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève is thought to be 'the first dance hall young Django played in 1922 with accordionist Vetese Guerino.' A gypsy waltz that Django composed, but never recorded, goes by the same name as the hill.
Opened in 1873, the Auteuil Hippodrome in Paris is an 82-acre racetrack that caters exclusively for steeplechase races.
Enghien racecourse (The Hippodrome d'Enghien-Soisy) is located on the common just outside the tourist town of Enghien-les-Bains (see 'Bookmark' for page 16), in the northern suburbs of Paris. The racecourse was formally opened in 1879, with the trotting track being added in 1922.
The 63-acre Jardin des Tuileries lies between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde. Originally belonging to the Tuileries Palace, the gardens became one of the first parks to be made available to the public. The palace itself was demolished by the Communards in 1871, thus clearing the view from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe. It previously occupied a position near the Arc du Carrousel: the smallest of the three arches marking the Triumphal Way between the the Louvre and la Défense and based on Rome's Arch of Constantine.
The Place de la Concorde is situated to the west of the gardens (at the eastern end of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées) and, at 86,400 square metres, is the largest square in the French capital. Originally named Place Louis XV, in honour of the reigning king, the square was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1755.
Dominating the Place Charles de Gaulle at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe, which bears the names of many who fought and died for France, is interpreted as representing peace (particularly that which followed the Napoleonic Wars). Commissioned by Emperor Napoleon in 1806, the 80.5-metre high monument would not see completion until the reign of King Louis-Philippe (1833-36). It was originally modelled on the Arch of Titus in Rome, and comprises one of the three arches (two of which existed in the 1920s) that align to make the Axe historique (historical axis) of Paris.
The Musée du Louvre, today the most visited museum in the world, stands in what remains of the old Palais de Louvre -- a fortress constructed under Philip II towards the end of the 12th century. It was opened to the public as a museum in 1793 (for more on the Louvre see bookmark for page 7).
Schruns, Vorarlberg's largest village, became a favourite spot with Hemingway after he first wintered there with Hadley and Bumby in 1924-1925. It was during this stay (and the following winter) that he did much of the work on The Sun Also Rises (see 'Bookmark' for page 44: 'I knew it was probably a good thing...'): 'I did the most difficult job of rewriting I have ever done [in Schruns] in the winter of 1925 and 1926, when I had to take the first draft of The Sun Also Rises which I had written in one sprint of six weeks, and make it into a novel.'
Vorarlberg, which borders Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, is the westernmost federal state of Austria and also its most affluent.
Found at 1,744 metres, the Lindauerhutte is one of the more easily accessed shelters in the Rätikon area of Austria's Vorarlberg. The Madlenerhaus lies at 1,986 metres, while the Wiesbadener hut stands at 2,443.
Known as the 'Blue Silvretta' due to the area's high concentration of glaciers, the Silvretta is a range of mountains that joins the Austrian regions of Tirol and Vorarlberg, leading over to Graubünden in Switzerland. Graubünden's municipality of Klosters is home to the popular ski resort of the same name.
Established by Swiss hotelier César Ritz in 1898, the Ritz, 'with a room facing Place Vendome', was reputed to have been Hemingway's favourite hotel in Paris. It was also a favourite haunt of the Fitzgeralds. In fact, it is claimed that Hemingway -- whose means were not necessarily best-matched to the illustrious establishment -- was first invited there by Fitzgerald. One of the best known anecdotes regarding Hemingway concerns his 'liberation' of the Ritz bar in August 1944, when the Allied troops marched into Paris. Today, the Ritz's 'Bar Hemingway' has been restored to its 1920s appearance.
Affectionately called 'the Dingo bar' by many of its regular patrons, the Dingo American Bar and Restaurant at 10 rue Delambre first opened for business in 1923. Hemingway and Fitzgerald were among the many English-speaking writers and artists to frequent the establishment. Although the building in which the bar was housed is still a functioning restaurant, it operates today under a different name.
One of the most famous cafés on the Left Bank's Boulevard Saint-Germain, Les Deux Magots, which takes its name from a popular play of its 1813 origins, began life as a drapery. It would next become a wine merchants, before emerging as a fashionable cafe in 1914. Hemingway was amongst its many notable literary visitors, as was Jean Paul Sartre.
Opening its doors in 1898, Le Dôme Café was the first in the circle of cafés that became popularised by the artists and intellectuals of the Left Bank. It soon earned itself the reputation as the 'Anglo-American café'. Favoured by Picasso, the Café de la Rotonde, located at the corner of Boulevard du Montparnasse and Boulevard Raspail, was founded slightly later in 1911.
Michaud's (or the toilet therein) was the -- now renowned -- setting for Hemingway's reassurances to F. Scott Fitzgerald regarding the size of his penis. Located at the intersection of rue Jacob and the rue des Saints-Pères, the upmarket restaurant has since been replaced by the Brasserie l’Escorailles. In his Hemingway Adventure, Michael Palin tells us that 'the only reason for spending any time here now is to visit what may well be the remains of the original loo — it has an Art Deco inlaid glass door, an old-fashioned squat toilet and graceful iron cistern.'
Chez Les Vikings, located at 31 rue Vavin in Montparnasse, was a popular spot for romantic liaisons and heartfelt letter-writing during the 1920s and 1930s. Henry Miller sat at its tables and addressed a letter to Anais Nin in 1932, and it also set the scene for Simone de Beauvoir's correspondence with Jean-Paul Sartre. It appears the restaurant attempted to encourage its creatively minded clientele, offering four free lunches daily to eligible artists during the winter months.
Biffi Café in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, was first opened by royal confectioner, Paolo Biffi, in 1867. The glass-domed Galleria was named after the first king of unified Italy, and was constructed between 1865-1877.
Lipp’s brasserie, based in Saint-Germain, was founded by Leonard Lipp in 1880. Not alone in his appreciation of the restaurant's Art Deco charms, Hemingway is listed amongst such literary regulars as Proust and Verlaine. Today, despite varied reports regarding the brasserie's menu, it continues to draw famous names from the political arena and world of celebrity alike.
Hemingway's Negre de Toulouse at 159 Boulevard du Montparnasse has since been replaced by the Italian restaurant, La Padova.
Starting out as an inn for wealthy aristocrats in 1582, the now double Michelin-starred Tour D'Argent (it lost the third in 1996) survives today as a notoriously upmarket dining experience. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Charlie Chaplin are cited amongst the many famous names to have graced La Tour D'Argent following its reopening in 1918.
The motto of Alfred Prunier's upmarket restaurant was ‘everything that comes from the sea’. Developing a reputation for its fine, but rather expensive, menu, the original Prunier restaurant near Place de la Madelaine at 9 Rue Duphot has since been taken over by Jean-Claude Goumard and renamed Goumard-Prunier. Maintaining an Art Deco appearance, the restaurant still features its ‘historical toilettes’.