Few personalities in history fascinate as much as Marie Antoinette’s. Fewer still provoke so much controversy and passion. Was she the flippant queen who heartlessly counseled her starving peasants to dine on cake? Or was she one of history’s most maligned and perversely misinterpreted characters?
This unique Paris Tour attempts both to acquaint you with some of her milieus in France and with the many facets of her personality, from the frivolous, superficial girl who debarked in France, to the austere, self-controlled monarch who climbed the scaffold, with infinite poise, in the Place de la Revolution (now Concorde) in the last minutes of her life.
Your guide will take you to see some of her favorite haunts, including: The Bagatelle Chateau, which was the result of the bet that she lost with her brother-in-law (that it could not be built in less than two months), and the Comedie Francaise theater that she so often frequented. At the end of our escorted tour of Marie Antoinette’s Paris, we will trace the route from the Conciergerie to the Place de la Revolution, to the very spot where her life ended.
During the Revolution, the Conciergerie housed over 4,000 prisoners, including Marie Antoinette, who was held in a tiny ell. Other ‘tenants’ included Charlotte Corday, who stabbed Revolutionary leader Maras as he lay in his bath, and the Revolutionary judges Danton and Robespierre also stayed before being sent to the guillotine.
The Place de la Corcorde, then called the Place de la Revolution, had a death toll in the square in 2 ½ years of 1,119, including Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette (who died in view of the small, secret apartment she kept at No 2 Rue Royal) and the revolutionary leaders Danton and Robespierre. Renamed Concorde in a spirit of reconciliation, the grandeur of the square was enhanced in the 19th century and has become the culminating point of the Bastille Day Parades.
As time allows, and if you are interested, our guide can also show you some of the shops in Paris that she frequented that is still in business today, including the chocolate maker whose creations she consumed and served, one of the famous jewelry houses that she both patronized and vetted at the Chateau de Versailles, and one of the luxury textile houses whose fabrics were used to upholster the rooms in which she resided at Versailles, which can still be seen inside the Chateau.
This private tour of Marie Antoinette’s world takes you to spots in Paris that are inextricably associated with her. To complete your visit of “everything Marie Antoinette”, be sure to visit the Chateau de Versailles (not included in this tour) where she arrived as a naive young bride and where she lived her early years in France, to her flight from reality at the Petit Trianon Palace, and her village. There is also a special behind the scenes tour that can include her private apartments.