In 1215 the Pope approved the establishment
of a university on the left bank of the Seine in Paris.
Students and teachers alike settled in the area and since
Latin was the official language of education at that time,
the area came to be called the Latin Quarter.
The area is associated with artists, intellectual
and a bohemian way of life; this is mainly due to the thousands
of students living around.
But the place also has a history of political unrest : In
1871, the Place Saint Michel became the center of the Paris
Commune, and in may 1968, it was a site of student uprising.
Today the eastern half has become sufficiently chic, however,
to house members of the French Establishment.
The place contains many of the Paris monuments, museums
and gardens, ranging from the brand-new Institut du Monde
Arabe to the Middle Age Musçe de Cluny, or the Musçum
National d'Histoire Naturelle in the Jardin des Plantes.