Rue Bonaparte

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Rue Bonaparte
Paris rue bonaparte.jpg
View starting at no. 88 Rue Bonaparte
from the Rue de Vaugirard
Rue Bonaparte is located in Paris
Rue Bonaparte
Shown within Paris
Length1,010 m (3,310 ft)
Width11 m (36 ft)
QuarterSaint-Germain-des-Prés, Odéon
Coordinates48°51′11″N 2°19′59″E / 48.85306°N 2.33306°E / 48.85306; 2.33306Coordinates: 48°51′11″N 2°19′59″E / 48.85306°N 2.33306°E / 48.85306; 2.33306
From7 Quai Malaquais
To58 rue de Vaugirard
CompletionOrd. du 7 septembre 1845
Denomination12 August 1852

Rue Bonaparte is a street in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. It spans the Quai Voltaire/Quai Malaquais to the Jardin du Luxembourg, crossing the Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the place Saint-Sulpice and has housed many of France's most famous names and institutions as well as other well-known figures from abroad. The street runs through the heart of the fashionable Left Bank and is characterised by a number of 'hôtels particuliers' (grand townhouses) and elegant apartment buildings as well as being bounded by the river at one end and the park at the other. With fifteen buildings or monuments classified as Monument Historique, it has more such listed sites than any other street in the 6th arrondissement.

Rue Bonaparte also has many literary associations and contains a number of bookshops, antiquarian booksellers, publishers and art galleries. Its architecture and location have made it one of Paris' most historic and sought-after residential addresses.

Located near the Métro stationsSaint-SulpiceMabillon and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
Paris Métro Paris Métro Line 4 Paris Métro Line 10


The length of the street was formerly the site of a river called La Noue, which at the time formed the eastern boundary of the Pré-aux-Clercs (an area of land belonging to the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés). Later, the river was enlarged into a 27-m wide canal and named Petite Seine ('Little Seine'), which in turn supplied water to the moat of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés when its fortifications were built during the 14th century. In the 17th century, those fortifications were demolished along with the moat and the canal.

Street plaque also showing former name

At one time, it was divided into two streets - the rue du Pot de Fer dite du Verger and the rue des Petits Augustins (also known variously in the late 16th century as the rue Bouyn, Petite rue de Seine, Rue de la Petite Seine and the Chemin de la Noue). Its present form was established by government decree on 7 September 1845, which resulted in the opening of the part of the street between the Boulevard Saint-Germain and the rue du Vieux-Colombier. Its name was subsequently changed on 12 August 1852 to commemorate the Emperor Napoleon I.

The name 'Rue Bonaparte' was first proposed during the period of The Consulate; it was formally renamed "Saint-Germain-des-Prés" under the Bourbon Restoration, and then officially regained the name of "Bonaparte" a few months after the coup of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, in August 1852.[1]


In its present form it has subsumed the following historic streets:

  • Rue des Petits-Augustins, between the quai Malaquais et the rue Jacob
Rue Bonaparte - view of the place Saint-Germain-des-Prés looking towards the rue Jacob.
Rue Bonaparte - looking towards the place Saint-Sulpice.
  • Rue Saint-Germain-des-Prés, opened in 1804, between the Rue Jacob and St-Germain-des-Prés, it was named variously the Cour des Religieux, Rue Bonaparte, rue de la Poste aux Chevaux and in 1816 rue Saint Germain des Prés, before finally reassuming its current name.
  • Rue Saint-Germain, between the Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Place Saint-Sulpice was named in 1847. In 1804, this part of the street, which at times was known as the old rue Saint-Germain-des-Prés, ran between the rue Jacob and the rue du Vieux Colombier.
  • Rue du Pot de Fer Saint-Sulpice, between rue du Vieux-Colombier and the rue de Vaugirard, was named in the 15th century Ruelle Saint-Sulpice, then Ruelle Henri du Vergier, then Rue du Verger. At the beginning of the 17th century, it was renamed rue du Pot de Fer dite du Verger. Some historians[who?] suggest that it was also known as rue des Jardins Saint-Sulpice and rue des Jésuites.
  • Rue du Luxembourg in 1879, was the name given to the part comprising the rue de Vaugirard and the Rue d'Assas, then in 1918, the name Rue Guynemer.


The church and fountain of Saint-Sulpice
the Allée du Seminaire opposite Nos 88-92 rue Bonaparte

The rue Bonaparte itself contains some of Paris' notable landmarks, including:

Notable addresses[edit]

No. 5 rue Bonaparte


  1. ^ Mémoires de la société de l'histoire de Paris et de l'Ile-de-France, p. 18.
  2. ^ Turner, Sarah A. M. Percy Moore Turner : connoisseur, impresario & art dealer. London. ISBN 978-1-910787-80-9. OCLC 990973672.
  3. ^ "Hemingway's Paris - Wiki Travel Guide". Travellerspoint. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Sur les pas des ecrivains : Jean-Paul SARTRE". Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Paris : histoire rue Bonaparte. Rues autrefois". Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Rue Bonaparte - Paris Révolutionnaire". Retrieved 5 October 2013.

External links[edit]