A bloody walk through the history of Paris

Screams of pain, pleas of the condemned, a falling ax and a heap of corpses… You are not in front of the last Wes Craven, but in Paris, where the most heinous crimes were committed under the auspices of justice and a cheerful look. good people. An overview of the most iconic places.

On Greve Square (4and), tortured and executed

The current Place de l’Hôtel de Ville has not always housed the municipal authority. Since the Middle Ages and the death of the writer and free-thinking Marguerite Porett, at the stake 1uh In June 1310, the Place de Grève was the site of executions for centuries.

It was here that the famous bandit Kartush was beaten in 1721. Charles-Henri Sanson also served here from 1757, when he helped his uncle, the executioner Nicolas-Charles-Gabriel Sanson, to execute Robert-François Damien. At the Sansons, we acted as the executor of high affairs in the family. We are used to what we do and put our soul into it. But executioners also have moments of weakness, and Damien’s execution was so terrible that it haunted the young Charles-Henri for a long time. His uncle resigned his position.

Convicted on January 5, 1757 for lèse majesty Louis XV, Damien was sentenced to be quartered.

The prosecution and a two-month stay in the Conciergerie, during which he was brutally tortured, became the prelude to the bloodiest execution of all time. This takes place on March 26, 1757. Chained, the unfortunate Damien is tortured in the chest, arms, thighs and leg fat, where molten lead, hot wax and boiling oil are thrown. A knife is attached to his right hand, with which he stabbed the king, having previously burned him with a red-hot iron. But the worst is yet to come: quartering.

This last operation was very long, writes the Amsterdam Gazette. Horses not accustomed to shooting took six instead of four. More than 60 shots were fired … And this was not enough to dismember the victim’s thighs, it was necessary to cut his nerves and cut his joints. Four limbs, disconnected from the ropes of the horses, and the torso were then thrown onto a fire set along the axis of the scaffold.

The same torture was applied to Ravaillac on May 27, 1610, the regicide of the good King Henry IV on May 14, 1610, in the Rue de la Ferronnerie (the center of Paris). But, unlike Damien, after being subjected to the same insult, he had a chance to run out of steam at the second or third tirade of the horses…

The execution of Damien was the last sentence to be quartered in France.

On this occasion, we recommend reading the incipit Monitor and punishMichel Foucault (1975): details abound…

On the gallows of Montfaucon (10and), the remains are hung and displayed

Located 150 meters from the current Place Colonel Fabien, Montfaucon’s gallows is enough to make you shudder. Today, this filthy place, which today is frequented by fans of the Canal Saint-Martin, was for many years a gallows where the condemned were hanged and the remains paraded.

Real social distractions, hangings were chained for 6 centuries, starting with Enguerrand de Marigny, the right hand of Philippe le Bel, who fell into disgrace and was hanged on April 30, 1315, until 1760.and and XVand For centuries, the activity of the gallows was in full swing and it happened that 50 corpses were exposed at the same time. If we take into account the exposure of several months in some cases, then one can easily imagine the Parisians of yesteryear, who found themselves under the famous parallelepiped to play “who’s who?”. “…

Charles Daubigny (1817-1878).

For a detailed description, we recommend Cathedral of Notre Dame : Victor Hugo describes this place very well at the end of the novel.

Rue de Betisi (4and) prelude to the Massacre of Bartholomew

At the end of August 1572, Paris was suffocating. The princes of France and Navarre gathered to celebrate the marriage of the King of Navarre, the future Henry IV, to Princess Marguerite de Valois. In France, engulfed in religious wars, tensions between Catholics and Protestants are just waiting to flare up…

On August 22, shortly before noon, Admiral de Coligny, leader of the Protestants, was wounded by an arquebus shot fired by Morver, loyal to Queen Catherine de’ Medici. An attempt sets fire to gunpowder. Protestants scream for murder and demand revenge. It’s too much for ardent Catholics. “Kill, kill …” – we already here and there hear in the city.

François Dubois (1790-1871).

The next day, despite the promise made by King Charles IX to avenge the admiral, the alarm is heard: the massacre begins on St. Barthélemy. “Kill kill …”. Down with heretics, death to Protestants! We must kill them all! “So that none of them can blame me for the death of others”Charles IX would say. The commando, led by the Duke of Guise, proceeded to the Admiral’s house at 144 Betisi Street, 4th Street.and district. Coligny was stabbed to death in his bed by a man named Besme before being dragged out of a window.

The admiral’s headless body would be gutted and emasculated, then dragged through the streets and thrown into the Seine, where it would rot for three days before being found and displayed on the gallows of Montfaucon. Coligny’s death heralds the deaths of more than 3,000 people in the following days in Paris and tens of thousands throughout France.

On this topic : Paris is my good cityRobert Merle

Queen Margo Alexandra Dumas and, of course, the masterpiece of the same name by Patrice Chereau

Revolution Square (8and), Elevator to the gallows

It is impossible to accurately enumerate the heads that fell on the current Place de la Concorde. And if no one requires it, then at least a challenge!

During the revolution, Charles Henri, known as the “great Sanson”, acted. As we have seen above, he has a craft, as he has practiced it since Damien’s horrific execution in 1757.

Handsome / Fious

April 25, 1792 Charles Henri Sanson first used the guillotine axe. It will fall thousands of times before 1795. For 3 years, at least 2,700 goals rolled into the basket. We will remember Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, the highlanders in general (Robespierre, Danton, Saint-Just), the Girondins in particular (Desmoulins, Madame Roland, Olympia de Gouges) and other personalities such as Charlotte de Corday and Fouquier. — Tinville, public prosecutor of the Revolutionary Tribunal “established for the punishment of the enemies of the people” on June 10, 1794, largely responsible for the amputation of all the others.

It was not until October 1795, with the fall of the Convention and the establishment of the Directory, that the dizziness and blood stopped flowing. Place de la Concorde anyway…

In front of the Federation Wall (20and), end of sleep

It was in front of the Père Lachaise cemetery on Saturday, May 27, 1871, at the end of a bloody week of fierce fighting between the Communards and the army of Versailles, that the Social died. On this day, to the cries of “Death to the bourgeoisie” and “Commune or death” in front of the fence, with their backs to the wall, 147 soldiers of the Commune were shot. The bodies are thrown into a false common pit at its foot. The red evil spirits are crushed, and hopes for a social republic fly away completely.

Cry of the peoplemasterpiece of Tardy-Vautrin, illuminates this tragic episode and the symbols associated with it.

Commune.  Federal wall.  Paris, May 28, 1871.

Our bloody journey ends here. There are lesser known places in Paris, places told by good writers, where history and stories meet… Places that have greatly inspired the imagination of great writers and which we will soon have the opportunity to share with you.

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