It's at 13 rue de l'Ancienne Comédie (formerly rue des Fossés
Saint Germain) that Procope, whose real name was Francesco Procopio dei
Coltelli opened in 1684 the Café Procope.
On entering the oldest café in Paris, open in 1686, with its large
chandeliers and furniture in mahogony and pine, you feel instantly the
weight of three centuries of history. The café Procope gave birth
to all the intellectual upheavals that shook Paris.
And great men made and still make Procope a mythical place.
Procopio, ice cream, coffee and lemonade
The Sicilian Francesco Procopio had an ingenius idea in 1674. Whereas
Paris only knew taverns and caberets full of drunks, he had the idea
to open a beautiful place for refined gentlemen of the court of Louis
XIV. His first café is situated in rue du Tournon then rue de
l'Ancienne Comédie (actual address).
You are not served wine but coffee. It was in fact towards the years
of 1670, that coffee coming from Yemen first made its appearance in the
big towns of Europe, Venice, London and Paris.
But the place is especially known
for its ice creams. And it was a great success.
It was since this era that we started to collect
ice during cold days from lakes and rivers stored
in ice boxes, and in cellars to be brought out
His café is well decorated and elegant with its marble tables
illuminated by crystal chandeliers whose light reflects in large mirrors.
We can believe that we are in the Galerie des Glaces at the château
The Procope later opened to women. Women in a café, this was a
great first for Paris. The formula invented by Procope became a great
success. From 1700, Paris had some 300 cafés, and 1750 cabarets.
The world had changed and was commented on by the various newspapers
of the period.
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reserved - 2008