Paris in the day of Simone Veil

A day in Paris | History and heritage
You wish to stay on the Left Bank ? Discover the Hotel des Saints-Pères !
Hôtel des Saints Pères

The appealing life of Simone Veil in Paris. 

Simone Veil a lived very full life and wore many different hats - she was a resistant during the war, a politician, a lawyer, a magistrate as well as a member of the French Academy. Her remarkable personality and unyeilding determination earnt her a place in the Panthéon in 2018 after her death in 2017. Walk through the capital in the footsteps of one of the most important women of the 5th Republic.

A fascinating life in Paris

The tour starts in the 6ème arrondissement, at 45 boulevard Raspail to be precise, a few minutes away from the Hôtel des Saints-Pères (where Simone Veil actually stayed). After she was freed from Auschwitz in 1945, Simone Veil stayed at the Hôtel Lutetia with many other holocaust survivors. The famous hotel, classed as a historical monument and requisitioned by the Germans during WWII, was later redecorated by fashion designer Sonia Rykiel. Find a table in the Art déco restaurant and take in the décor inspired by the SS Normandie ocean liner. A book club for all the family is held on Saturdays and brunch is served on Sundays.

On to the Institut of France, still in the 6ème arrondissement at 23 Quai de Conti this time. The French Academy, of which Simone Veil became a member from 2010, resides within the Institute. The construction of the building by the Seine was lead by Cardinal Mazarin aiming to bring the nation's elite scientists, writers and artists together under one roof. Look up at the impressive columns and magnificent dome covering the building. The "Intellectual Parliament's" motto is "Patron of the Arts, Letters and Science"

Next head for Place Vauban in the 7ème arrondissement near the Hôtel d'Orsay. In 1969, Simon Veil and her husband moved into number 11 of the 2nd floor and spent their lives there. In 1983 the couple founded the Vauban club, borrowing the name of the impressive place. This was also the last address for Simone, who died at home 30th June 2017. Now move on to number 15 where a plaque commemorates the fact that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry lived here too from 1934 to 1940. 

pantheon_c_gilles_codina_centre_des_monuments_nationaux_byespritdefrance.jpgEnd the tour at the Panthéon, in the 5ème arrondissement, where the couple's coffins were transfered in 2018. The mausoleum's neo-classical style is striking and the building has been a burial chamber for important figures who marked the history of France since the French Revolution. Simon Veil is the fifth women to be buried there. There are superb sculptured ceilings to enjoy once inside and see where some of the most well-known people in French history such as Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Rousseau and Jean Moulin, were laid to rest down in the crypt.