The St. Germain des Pres district of Paris is perhaps the most famous neighbourhood of what is already the world’s most celebrated city; this is where artists, politicians, and intellectuals have gathered for centuries. Within the somewhat vague confines of this exclusive area of Paris, there are certain streets that are more desirable than others... streets that have what the French call ‘cachet’...where the buzz is subdued, refined and enticing enough to make people want to be on that particular street, not elsewhere, even though the street is more residential than anything else. No matter. The Rue Jacob is one of those streets where people want to be. With all of its current cachet, centuries ago, this street used to be a simple footpath running along the northern boundary of the sprawling Abby of St. Germain des Pres, just outside the fortified city walls. Originally called the rue du Colombier, in the early 17th century, the western end of the street was changed to ‘rue Jacob’ by the devout first wife of King Henry IV, otherwise known as the ‘Reine Margot’. She raised an “altar of Jacob” at a local convent in remembrance of this biblical patriarch. The name Jacob was extended to the entire street in 1836.
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