Formerly an abbey-church, and one of the oldest churches in Paris, it was the starting point of the XIIth century-born Bourg Saint-Germain.
Since the XVIIth century, the neighbourhood has become a central spot of parisian intellectual and cultural life, and a true symbol of Paris.
XVIIIth century Encyclopedists met at the Café Landelle, on de Buci street, or at the still existing Café Procope. Same with future revolutionaries Marat or Danton. In the 1950's, american jazz was to be heard in the basements of the Rue de Rennes. Existentialism, embodied by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, then was the dominant philosophy in the neighbourhood.
Even today, "Germanopratin" is a term used in French to describe, in a sometimes pejorative way even, a parisian intellectual viewpoint.