The Latin Quarter of Paris is situated on the left bank of the River Seine, around the Sorbonne. Known for its student life, lively atmosphere and bistros, the Latin Quarter is the home to a number of higher education establishments besides the university itself, such as the École Normale Supérieure, the École des Mines de Paris (a ParisTech institute), the Schola Cantorum, and the Jussieu university campus. Other establishments such as the École Polytechnique (also a ParisTech engineering school) have relocated in recent times to more spacious settings.
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The area gets its name from the Latin language, which was once widely spoken in and around the University since Latin was the international language of learning in the Middle Ages. Situated in the fifth (cinquième) arrondissement of Paris, Rue Mouffetard is one of Paris's oldest and liveliest neighborhoods. These days the area has many restaurants, shops, and cafés, and a regular open market. It is centered on the Place Contrescarpe, at the junction of the rue Mouffetard and the rue de Lacepede. Its southern terminus is at the Square Saint-Médard where there is a permanent open-air market.