Houses, hôtel des Pays réunis,
Atget - 1899
We have now left Montagne Sainte-Geneviève and reached Place Maubert through rue des Carmes. We have now arrived rue Galande through rue Lagrange.
JK. Huysmans who was a French novelist and contemporary of Atget described the street and the two medieval houses with their wooden roof brackets. At 29, rue Galande was a stationery shop selling also panes of glass and at 31,
it was a leather shop.
Nowadays, only the gable roof at 29 has kept its decorative roof bracket. It can be wondered whether these venerable houses should not be receiving
same attention than the ones rue François-Miron (see medieval tour right bank)...
The name of the hotel provided by Atget to his photo – Hotel des Pays Réunis - that can be translated Hotel of the associated countries, sounds intriguing. Which countries are they? I have not been able to find any precise explanation.
At the end of the 19th century, there were many hotels owned by people from central France and their names were recalling regions like Auvergne and Aveyron. May be the hotel des Pays Réunis was owned by people coming both from Auvergne and Aveyron…
This district around Place Maubert , which is the main backdrop for the French novel "The mysteries of Paris" written by Eugène Sue in the 19th century, was mainly a place for poor people: tramps, rag men, butt-pickers, dog shearers, pimps, beggars
and burglars … Some hotels were providing clean rooms, but only to the ones who could afford it; others were just providing a bad mattress in a dirty place to be shared with other poor people. There were also dreadful drinking dens like Le Père
Lunette, in the close rue des Anglais or like Château-Rouge, at 57 rue Galande.
Before going to the church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, let's stop at 42, rue Galande where there
is a carved 14th-century stone bas-relief above the entrance of the cinema. This oldest street sign in Paris depicts the legend of the boatman, Saint Julian. He is shown in the boat with his wife, rowing Christ across the river and getting forgiveness for
having unwittingly killed his own parents.