Rue Cels

Arrondissement 14

Number 24

The street was named after the owner of the land just outside the walls of Paris to the South of the Montparnasse cemetery, Jacques Philippe Martin Cels, who was also a renowned horticulturalist. It was opened in 1850.

Simone de Beauvoir and Sartre rented two rooms at the Hotel Mistral at No. 24, and lived there from 1937 to 1939

One of Paris’ rare plaques remembering left-wingers has been put outside No. 24. This is the Hotel Mistral, where Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre rented two separate rooms from the autumn of 1937 until September 1939. They had agreed to keep their individual freedom.

The quotes on the plaque are: ‘I would be mistaken if I said we are as one. Between two individuals harmony is never certain, it must continuously be conquered’. Jean-Paul: ‘But there is one thing that doesn’t ever change, nor can it change. It is that whatever happens and whatever I become I will become it with you’.

After being released from his prisoner-of-war status in 1940, Sartre returned to the Hotel Mistral, where de Beauvoir also moved back to. In 1941 the first meeting of the intellectual resistance group, ‘Socialism and Freedom’ (Socialisme et Liberté), was held in Simone de Beauvoir’s room.