We decided to go to Saint Germaine for dinner because it was a nice night and we chose Deux Magots since we had both heard of it. Les Deux Magots has an esteemed cultural history as one of the top haunts for Paris’ elite philosophers, artists and intellectuals. Some of the most influential writers of the 20th Century have frequented its window seats at one time or another including Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Jacques Prévert and Ernest Hemingway. Naturally they are all gone now but Saint Germaine is a nice area and the café sits in a picturesque location opposite the Church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest church in Paris. The Deux Magots literary prize has been awarded to a French novel every year since 1933.
Saint Sulpice is one of those saints whose biography makes him appear indeed saintly. His father opposed the idea of him entering the monastic life and required him to oversee the family farm. He spent his spare time in devotional life and service to the poor and only became a monk at the age of 40. Thus he is the patron saint of delayed vocations. The present church is the second building on the site, erected over a Romanesque church originally constructed during the 13th century. The new building was founded in 1646 by parish priest Jean-Jacques Olier (1608–1657) who had established the Society of Saint Sulpice, a clerical congregation, and a seminary attached to the church. Thirty years later a lack of funds halted construction work. It would not be until the early 18th century before construction resumed and finally in 1780 the church was mostly completed.