Meet your English speaking guide in the lobby of your hotel and departure for a half day walking tour
You will visitBastille Marais area Paris City hallPalais Royal Jardin des Tuileries et Place de la Concorde
On the afternoon of 14 July 1789 a revolutionary rabble laid siege to a hated fortress, freeing the few remaining political prisoners and dismantling stone by stone the building that had come to symbolize the injustice of the old regime: the Bastille. During the course of this 3-hour walk, we will explore the events, figures, and societal evolutions which set this first revolution into motion, studying its different stages and how it served as a precursor to the various revolutions that followed in the coming century. Most importantly, we’ll consider the influences that helped to eventually create a new Paris.
Our walk begins at the former site of this Bastille (now adorned with the July Column, a monument dedicated to the later Revolution of 1830), seeing where it was located and thus setting the tone for our walk. We’ll move along to the Place des Vosges, where Victor Hugo penned his famous work Les Miserables, and from which we will tackle the complex history leading up to and encompassing France’s revolutionary period. With this in mind, we’ll then pass through the Marais neighborhood to study the mansions that represented the wealth of the hated French nobility in addition to seeing some other sites linked to the revolution.
Our tour will continue on to the Hôtel de Ville, Paris's city hall which, as a symbol of the government and a central square, was a key location in each revolution. It was even set alight by revolutionaries during the Commune of 1871 and thus will provide a good opportunity to introduce the post-1789 revolutions. At this point, we’ll board the metro and travel a few stops to Palais Royal, the site where the mob which sparked the first revolution formed on the night of July 13th. It was soon renamed “Palais de l’Égalité,” by its owner Philippe d'Orleans, King Louis XVI's cousin who attempted to represent a new modern, monarchy for the people, though he was still guillotined during the Terror. His son Louis-Philippe became king in 1830, so we may delve into the 1830 and 1848 revolutions at this time.
We’ll continue on through the Jardin des Tuileries. The royal gardens became public after the revolution of 1789, but here will talk about the former Tuileries Palace, also burnt down in 1871. Our final stop will be Place de la Concorde, which served as the site of the feared guillotine. Our walk will end with a discussion of the impact of these historical events on politics, society and culture in France today.
End of the tour at your hotel