Last Updated on 13th October 2020 by Sophie Nadeau
Situated steps away from the Paris Panthéon, one of the most delightful squares in the Latin Quarter can be found in the form of Place de l’Estrapade, which boasts its very own sparkling fountain, bookstore, several restaurants, and even a delectable boulangerie. Here’s a quick history of the square (and it’s much darker than you might expect), as well as how to visit for yourself.
A brief history of Place de l’Estrapade
Located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, Place de l’Estrapade was once situated outside of the Philippe-Auguste wall and, safe for its name, the tranquil nature of the Parisian location today does nothing to remind visitors of its rather horrific past.
You see, ‘estrapade’ is literally translated into English as strappado (the Italian word is used) and was one of the most horrific torture methods which could be inflicted on army deserters from the Middle Ages right up until the 17th-century.
The punishment involved securing the victim to a rope and dropping them from a height so as to inflict limb dislocations, fractures, and breakages. In 1687, the punishment was stopped and the square was renovated, thus giving it a new lease of life. The punishment was fully abolished by Louis XVI in 1776.
In more recent times, the square has featured as the backdrop for many filming locations, including the Netflix show ‘Emily in Paris’. Today, the square is a quiet and tranquil place, filled with benches and it’s the perfect spot to sit for a while to read a good book or simply stop and watch the world go by.
Addresses to visit in Place de l’Estrapade
Terra Nera, 18 Rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques, 75005
Most recently featured as the restaurant ‘les Deux Comperes’ in Emily in Paris (the Italian restaurant was rebranded as a French dining establishment for the TV series), Terra Nera is a fairly well-reviewed eatery and its menu comprises of various pasta and salad dishes and the like.
Librairie Portugaise et Brésilienne, 21 Rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques, 75005
When in Paris, it’s worth noting that there are plenty of niche bookstores to be discovered. One of the more unusual is that of the Portuguese and Brazillian bookshop, which (as you might have imagined) sells fiction and non-fiction Brazilian and Portuguese books.