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The oldest coffee place in the world


laprocope1.jpgCouple of minutes walking from the Saint Michel fountain you can sip the Parisian coffee at the place which used to be visited by the world-known philosophers of the 18th century, place where Benjamin Franklin worked on the American Constitution, where used to come the personalites such as La Fontaine, Anatole France, Voltaire, Balzac, Hugo, Verlaine...simply the literary soul of Paris. The coffee place „Le Procope“ is the oldest coffee place in the world and the first Parisian restaurant, coffee and ice-cream place. 

In Paris it can be misleading that some most famous and fancy restaurants have the word „Café“ in their name. The commercial booklet of the coffee place - restaurant „Le Procope“ will inform you about the date 1686, when Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, the Plaprocope-2.jpgalermo aristocrat opened a coffee place in the street Fossées Saint-Germain (today the street „rue de l’Ancienne Comédie“), which with its drinks and fruit ice-creams attracted famous personalities of literary and philosophical circles.
In the 18th century there started to be spread the liberal ideas, the coffee place place was connected with the history of Encyclopedia and for the American it is a cult touristic place, the American are proud that Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin used to come here.
Behind the wooden table with the little copper pan serving as the sugar-bowl your eyes are running on all walls, historical paintings, decorated ceilings, goldened decorative doorknobs, ancient candlesticks and old bookshelf full of historical books.
On the first floor on one of the walls you can read the wise sentence pronounced by Molière: „Et pour fermer chez vous l’entrée à la douleur, de vingt verres de vin entourez votre cœur“. - „And in order to block the entrance of the pain, wrap your heart with twenty glasses of wine“. On the bathroom door there is not thlaprocope-3.jpge usual French „Dames“, but it says „Citoyennes“ (Citizens).
„Le Café Procope“ has a luxurious, historical and aesthetically rich and charming interior, but it is a bit pity, that its fame has made it too commercial. You can feel that it is a flapper for tourists, the waiters know that you admire the decorations, and so they are not in a hurry to serve you. The price of the lunch or dinner menu is from 30 to 70 EUR per person, opinions on the quality of the food vary, but the restaurant is one of the most famous and most typical Parisian «brasseries ». If you look for a place for a romantic dinner or drink, for sure you will find it here. And in any case the afternoon coffee or hot chocolate is worth stopping by.
Maria Dopjerova-Danthine, Paristep