Friday, June 6, 2008
Café Momus = Le Relais du Louvre
The 3-star “coaching inn,” Le Relais Du Louvre, opened in 1991 and was renovated in 2000.
Between 1800 and 1941, this building contained the printing presses that produced Revolutionary pamphlets and the later goings-on of the House of Representatives. Its street level and first floor held the Café Momus, favored by Voltaire, Hugo, and intellectuals of the day, including Henri Murger, author of Scènes de la Vie de Bohème, on which Puccini’s La Bohème is based. It is Café Momus that is the setting for act two of the opera.
The address is a bit confusing, because in the writings of Murger, he placed the Momus at No. 15. Well, it turns out that when the shops abutting the church St-Germain-l’Auxerrois were removed and the street reworked, the numbers were changed as well. The old No. 15 is now No. 19, where today’s guests enjoy lodgings on a quiet street opposite the church, a half block from the eastern façade of the Louvre, and a half block from the Seine. Perfect.
Le Relais du Louvre
19, rue des Prêtres-St-Germain-l’Auxerrois