Les Deux Magots

by Marianinas Patsa

A café is synonymous with the history of the changing world.

In Saint-Germain-des-Prés there is a small café with a history many times its size. It is about Les Deux Magots, which since 1884 has played an important role in the cultural life of Paris – but not only. Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, Oscar Wilde, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and other artists and intellectuals had made it their home. Sartre and De Beauvoir sat for hours discussing the theory of existentialism. Picasso together with Georges Braque here began to shape the cubism movement. A little further on, writers and artists were preparing the declaration of the surrealism manifesto. In the same place, the French poet Paul Verlaine met his romantic partner, Arthur Rimbaud. And Oscar Wilde found solace here while in exile in France.


Les Deux Magots hasn’t changed much over the years. Today it is more popular than ever and still attracts personalities from the worlds of art and literature, fashion and politics, as well as travelers from all over the Earth. Established in 1933, the Deux Magots Prize still brings to the fore the talented writers of the future, now being one of the oldest literary prizes. Both statuettes of the Chinese merchants who give the place its name to this day silently gaze from a vantage point at the human bee humming on the tables and eavesdropping on the ideas and confessions born over cups of aromatic coffee.