Paris history. Paris the party and Paris champagne. But Paris the murder, Paris rifles, Paris the death and Paris German. Paris gallows, Paris hanged, Paris triple murder, Paris guillotine, Paris suicide and very creepy Paris.
Let’s go around.
1. Place de la Concorde and Place de la Nation
1036 people were guillotined, during the Terror, on the current Place de la Nation which, in these revolutionary times, was called the Place du Trône Reversé. Ironically, the person responsible for a good number of these executions, namely Robespierre himself, was entitled to preferential treatment since his head was cut off on the Place de la Révolution, which today corresponds to the Place de la Concorde. Place names have meaning.
2. The garden of acclimatization
Initially, the Jardin d’acclimatation was a concession of the Bois de Boulogne granted to a zoological society for the acclimatization (hence its name) of exotic animal species to the harsh French climate. But from the 1870s, the situation changed slightly when we began to present to the public humans described as savages. Basically, we take guys from the African colonies (or sometimes from the Far East) and we show them off in the middle of wild beasts from their country of origin to make local color. Everything will last until 1931 and will feed, from the 19th century, a lot of controversy, in relation to the fact that men were put in cages. What is more problematic is that the current garden cartels recounting this ancient practice present it as an exotic activity that delighted the people of Paris. No doubt the authors do not think badly, but it would not be bad to change them.
3. The Buttes Chaumont
At the Buttes Chaumont, an artificial park built with its twin Montsouris under Napoleon III on the bald mountain, there is a bridge which is simply called the suicide bridge. And it is remarkably bucolic and remarkably fenced, now, to prevent the practice from continuing. The footbridge overhanging the lake indeed attracted desperate people of all stripes who came to end their days in the shimmering setting of the 19th arrondissement.
4. Lauriston Street
Between 1941 and 1944, aka during the occupation, the German Gestapo joined the services of French mercenaries who alone constituted what was called the French Gestapo, probably the worst sons of bitches in the history of the life. Often recruited from among thugs and bastards, its members extended the action of the German Gestapo, devoting themselves to flushing out Jews and resistance fighters, but for often flimsy reasons, attracted by the lure of gain and the possibility of giving themselves up. to traffic. Suffice to say that passing in front of 93 de la rue, located not far from Place Dauphine, does not put you in a great mood.
5. The Lutetia
The Lutetia hotel is one of the Parisian palaces on the left bank, a landmark for stars of all kinds and wealthy people. But during the occupation, it was occupied by the Abwehr who made it their headquarters and, upon liberation, to avoid being put on fire, its owner compromised with the allied forces so that the hotel could be used of refuge to all the survivors of the camps. Its corridors are therefore (memorially speaking) haunted by Nazi intelligence agents and by emaciated individuals who have escaped from the death camps.
6. 53 rue de la Grange-aux-Belles
Before the guillotine, there was the gibbet. Hanging was like everything else: it was done publicly. However, the most prominent gibbet in Paris was located precisely at this address in the 10th arrondissement: the gibbet of Montfaucon, as it was called, was made up of a set of gibbets where the decomposing bodies of the condemned to be gradually eaten by scavengers. Suffice to say that it’s not the funniest thing in the world. The gibbet was operational until Louis XIII.
7. Pere Lachaise
It was within Père Lachaise that the Commune took a big hit in its face in 1871 when 147 of its fighters were shot against the Communards’ wall, as posterity was to call it, just to establish the idea that the boss was Thiers. History will not be remade, but in any case it is not the least gloomy story that has occurred in the cemetery.
8. The Bois de Boulogne waterfall
On the eve of the Liberation of Paris, in 1944, 37 resistance fighters were lured by the Gestapo into an ambush and were shot, very close to the Bois de Boulogne waterfall. Today, a monument commemorates this event which marks one of the last acts of cruelty of the German occupier during the war and often hosts official ceremonies during the annual commemorations.
9. Charonne metro station
On February 8, 1962, during a large demonstration organized against the OAS in the midst of the Algerian war, 8 people died in the chaos following police violence that led the demonstrators, gathered at the initiative of the left and the Communists, to hastily take refuge in the metro. In the midst of a state of emergency, the demonstration had indeed been banned and the prefect of police had given the order to his men to repress those present. Most historians point to the responsibility of the repressive police apparatus and the obvious dysfunctions in the chain of command which nevertheless resulted in 8 deaths and 2,500 injuries.
10. 8 rue Jean Mermoz
On March 17, 1887, Claudine-Marie Regnault, her maid and the daughter of the said maid were killed at 17 rue Montaigne (today 8 rue Jean Mermoz in the 8th district) in a staging macabre. Women are slit or decapitated and some of their fingers are cut off. Money was stolen as well as jewelry. Investigators are quick to arrest an adventurer, Henri Pranzini, who will be convicted and executed for this triple murder, despite his denials.