Je pense, donc je suis

Saint-Germain-des-Prés is the oldest church in Paris. It was built by the Merovingian king Childebert in the 6th century to house what was believed to be a fragment of the true cross. The word prés (pray) means “field.” If you look at older maps of Paris, Saint-Germain was a separate rural village outside the wall that surrounded Paris. As the city expanded over the last two millennia, Saint-Germain came within the city limits. It has been destroyed, re-built and expanded upon more than once, so it is a bit of an architectural hodge-podge of Romanesque and early-Gothic styles. You can do a virtual visit here. The tombs of the Merovingian kings and the philosopher René Descartes are here. Descartes famous phrase is “Je pense, donc je suis” (shjuh pehns donk shjuh swee), which means, “I think, therefore I am.” For me, the operative phrase is “I think I am in Paris, therefore I am happy.”

About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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