Place Saint-Michel Square in Paris

Located in the Latin Quarter of the city, this square in Paris is most well known for its fountain, which is actually the highest fountain in Paris, and was designed during the changes made by Baron Haussmann in the 1850s.

A bit of history

Baron Haussmann changed much of the layout of the city and after a new large boulevard had been completed, which is now called the Boulevard Saint-Michel, it opened up the small space that linked the Pont Saint-Michel bridge in Paris.
Place Saint-Michel fountain
However, Baron Haussmann wanted the space made much larger to coincide with the wider Pont Saint-Michel bridge, and so he entrusted the design of this square with a central fountain and the facades of the buildings surrounding it, to the renowned architect Gabriel Davioud.

The original designs were produced by Gabriel Davioud in 1855, however, these were met with disapproval from the city and after several further designs, where the architect initially wanted the fountain to symbolise peace, a revised plan designed with the Arc Angel Michael was chosen, and hence why it became called the Fontaine Saint-Michel or Saint Michaels Fountain.

Eventually, it was 1858 when construction of the fountain began in order to complete the newly enlarged square in Paris, and it was inaugurated two years later in the August of 1860.

About Place Saint-Michel in Paris

The Place Saint-Michel is situated on the left bank of the River Seine facing the Ile de la Cite island that is linked by the Pont Saint-Michel bridge, it is also on the borders of the 5th and 6th Arrondissements and there are four streets that converge on this large square.

And from this square, especially if you go to the northern end, which is nearest to the River Seine, you can get to see some of the tourist attractions in Paris that are located on the Ile de la Cite island.  From here you will be able to see the Palais de Justice and the Sainte Chapelle chapel, which used to hold religious relics such as The Crown of Thorns before they were moved to the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Access to Place Saint Michel

As we mentioned before, the Saint Michael square is located in the 5th Arrondissement in the Latin Quarter close to the River Seine, yet in the opposite direction is the Sorbonne and it is only a short walk from the Musee de Cluny.
Place Saint-Michel cafe
Place Saint-Michel buildings
There is a metro station located at the Place Saint-Michel, which has the same name and is reached via line 4, or alternatively, if you are travelling on the RER trains, then you would need the Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame stop on line C.

The four roads that converge on the square are called the Quai Saint-Michel, the Quai des Grands-Augustines, the Boulevard Saint-Michel and the Rue Danton, however, if driving in Paris is not your idea of fun, then you have the Paris buses that also pass nearby.