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The Hotel Belloy Saint-Germain
Paris & its history

The Hotel Belloy Saint-Germain Paris, formerly the Hotel des Etrangers, was where the 19th century circle of poets called the Zutistes regularly met.

Among its members were names as illustrious as Charles Cros, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, André Gill, Ernest Cabaner and Leon Valade. The Zutistes were given to dissenting and radical thought.

Parody, caricature, poems and music enlivened these meetings at the Hotel des Etrangers.

The participants gathered in a room on the mezzanine and the debates went on late into the night, stopping only at sunrise.

Between December 1870 and February 1871, Arthur Rimbaud lived on the mezzanine floor at the Hotel Belloy Saint-Germain Paris.

Situated in an intellectual district, enjoying the close proximity of the Sorbonne and deeply influenced by literature, the Hotel Belloy Saint-Germain Paris is an embodiment of the Paris of philosophers and enlightenment.

Today, the district has lost none of its excitement. Tourists, writers, booksellers and students mingle in the busy streets and vibrant shops.

The story permeates every part of the district; Notre-Dame Cathedral, built between the 12th   and 14th centuries; the Ile de la Cité, “the head, the heart and the marrow of Paris”; the Sorbonne, founded in the 13th century and the hub of Parisian student life; the famous Gibert bookstores founded in 1886; and the Shakespeare & Co bookstore, which specialises in English literature and was frequented by Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and James Joyce.

On the blue summer evenings, I shall go down the paths,
Getting pricked by the corn, crushing the short grass:

In a dream I shall feel its coolness on my feet.
I shall let the wind bathe my bare head.

 

I shall not speak, I shall think about nothing:
But endless love will mount in my soul,

And I shall travel far, very far, like a gipsy,
Through the countryside, as happy as if I were with a woman.

 

Arthur Rimbaud

- March 1870 -
Excerpt from Complete Poems, with a preface by Paul Verlaine, 1895