© Ross Brinkerhoff / Fodor’s Travel
Just behind the neighborhood's namesake St-Germain church, this colorful crossroads (carrefour means "intersection") was once a notorious Rive Gauche landmark. During the French Revolution, the army enrolled its first volunteers here. It was also here that thousands of royalists and priests lost their heads during the 10-month wave of public executions known as the Reign of Terror. There's certainly nothing sinister about the area today, though; brightly colored flowers are for sale alongside take-out ice cream and other sweet treats. Devotees of the superb, traditional bakery Carton (at 6 rue de Buci) line up for fresh breads and pastries (try the pain aux raisins, tuiles cookies, and tarte de citron).
Intersection of rues Mazarine, Dauphine, and de Buci, Paris, France