Rue de la Harpe

The Rue de la Harpe in Paris is one of the oldest streets in the city. It is situated in the Quartier de la Sorbonne in the 5th arrondissement and was in the Middle Ages one of the main axes of the Rive Gauche, until it was replaced by the Boulevard Saint -Michel in the 19th century. Today, the Rue de la Harpe is one of the most popular with tourists streets of the Latin Quarter.


The Rue de la Harpe starts at the Rue de la Huchette 31, a few meters from the Place Saint -Michel and ends after 220 meters on the Boulevard Saint- Germain 98 It crosses here the Rue Saint- Sévérin.


The Rue de la Harpe comes - which refers to the southern part of the Rue Saint- Sévérin - already Gallo- Roman times. At that time, they probably started at the Petit Pont, the southern of the two bridges of the Cardo and proceeded southwest to its present junction with the Rue Sévérin (and from here then detectable), was a parallel road to the Cardo, today's Rue Saint -Jacques, and contributed the matching name via inferior (Latin via = way street - Inferus = bottom located: lower road ), which was later bowdlerized to " Rue d' Enfer ." The Rue de la Harpe extended in the Middle Ages to the city wall, to Porte Gibard, Porte Saint -Michel or Porte d' Enfer at today's Rue Soufflot and then continued to develop in parallel with the continuation of the Rue Saint- Jacques, the Rue du Faubourg Saint -Jacques.

With the construction of a second transition over the Seine, the Petit Pont Neuf ( 1378 ), later called the Pont Saint -Michel, the lower part of the Rue de la Harpe from Petit Pont was cut off and ( on the Rue Vieille Boucherie ) with this new bridge connected.

In the 1850s, Baron Haussmann was as part of its urban renewal project, the street layout between Pont Saint -Michel and its thermal baths straighten, whereby the lower part of today's Boulevard Saint -Michel was created; the continuation of this boulevard was given the same name, the Rue de la Harpe was out of town is stripped back to its current length, but at its northern end, just north of the Rue Saint- Sévérin to extend the Rue Vieille Boucherie.

Previous names of the Rue de la Harpe are:

  • South of the Rue Saint- Sévérin: Rue de la Juiverie
  • Rue de la Vielle Juiverie
  • Vicus cithare in Judearia ( 1247 )
  • Vicus judeorum ( 1257 ),
  • Vicus Harpe (1270 )
  • Vicus Herpe
  • Vicus de Cithara ( 1254 )
  • Rue Neuve Outre la Porte Saint -Michel
  • Rue d' Enfer.
  • Vicus Reginaldi Citharatoris ( 1247 )
  • Vicus Reginaldi dicti le Harpeur ( 1265 )
  • Vicus Vetus Bouclearia
  • Vicus Vetus Judearia
  • Rue de la Vieille Boucherie ( 1272 )
  • Rue de la Petite Bouclerie " (1300)
  • Rue de l' Abreuvoir Mascon ( 1391 )
  • Rue Neuve Mâcon or Rue de l' Abreuvoir Mâcon ( 1401 )
  • Rue de l' Abreuvoir Mâcon or Rue Neuve Saint- Michel ( 1409 )
  • Rue Neuve du pont Saint- Michel and the Rue Neuve de la Bouclerie (1406)
  • Rue de la Grant Bouclerie (1405 )
  • Rue Neuve Saint- Michel ( 1469 )
  • Rue de la Vielle Bouclerie.