In context : Odeon and Saint-Germain : welcome to Paris showpieces
(From : Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church). Exit Saint-Germain square through Guillaume-Appolinaire street, and turn left into Saint-Benoît street. At 7-11, Saint-Benoît street is the Bel-Ami hotel, which appears in a Gossip Girl episode set in Paris. Proceed into the street until turning right into Jacob street then left into Bonaparte street, up to the library.
The worldwide-renowned school has a matching location : a 20,000 square meters complex mostly dating back from the XVIIth, XVIIIth and XIXth centuries.
The oldest part is the chapel and its accompanying buildings , where Queen Margot of France set up one of the first art collection in Paris. In 1795, it became the location of the Musée des Monuments-Français, which now belongs (since 1816) to the School of Fine Arts even if part of its collections have been dispatched elsewhere.
The school was extended under the supervision of architects François Debret and Félix Duban, the former's student. They build the Bâtiment des Loges, the Palais des Études, the Bâtiment des Expositions, as well as the entrance courtyards of the chapel and the (very beautiful) cloister (the Cour du Mûrier) of the old covent.
The complex as a whole is a must-see. Guided visits are possible (please contact the school) and the building is open to the public during the Journées du Patrimoine in late-september.
- And at 16, Bonaparte street... - Right alongside the School of Fine Arts is the Academy of Medicine, founded in 1820. It has a beautiful "salle de séance" (an old conference room) looking like an italian theater, and which can be visited during the tuesday afternoon public sessions.