The Cafés Of Literature #1 - The Café Procope
Paris has got for quite a long time a rich literary reputation, enhanced by the fame of Rive Gauche and districts such as Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Montparnasse. With this column The Cafés of Literature, we give you an insight on these cafés which have welcomed the greatest French writers through centuries. For this first article, let's take a tour to the Café Procope of the 18th century, headquarters of intellectuals and revolutionaries.
Established in 1684, the Café Procope quickly acquires its reputation within a few years thanks to the attendance of the intellectuals in the Enlightenments century, such as Voltaire, d'Alembert and Diderot. The latter would even have written some pages of the Universalis Encyclopedia in this café, and Montesquieu quotes the anecdote in his Lettres Persanes.
The Procope stays for a long time a politicians hotspot just like Benjamin Franklin who prepared the project of French-American alliance and the first sketches of the Constitution of the United States. It is indeed reminded it to us by the commemorative tablet in front of the café. During the French revolution, the Phrygian Cap - the greatest revolutionary symbol - will be shown in public in this café as soon as August, 1792. This place is also where will be partially given the order of the attack on the Palais des Tuileries - formerly the official jail of the French crown ; this attack is considered to launch the French Revolution by historians.
Still located in the 6th Parisian district, you should definitely stop at 13 rue Ancienne Comédie to treat yourself with their generous crème brulée.