9.2.09

A few traces...

During its fairly long history, there has of course been some violence in Paris, including the St. Bartholomew’s Day (totally some 30.000 Protestants killed in Paris), the different revolutions and wars...

Most physical traces are gone. Here is a short list (certainly not complete) of what still can be found:


The Saint Roch Church (built 1653-1754) has quite some history - Corneille, Le Nôtre, Diderot... are buried here - but it’s perhaps especially known for an event which took place in 1795, when Bonaparte led a troop which killed some 200 “royalist rioters” on the then seven (now thirteen) steps leading to the church. This event is known as the “Whiff of Grapeshot” and was actually considered as a big step on his way to becoming Emperor. You can still see some more or less repaired traces of the battle on the church facade.

After taking the photos, I entered the church and listened to a very nice (free) organ and soprano concert (Bach, Haindl, Beethoven).
I have already posted about the late 15th century Hôtel de Sens, originally the home of the Archbishop of Sens, later occupied by one of the Guise cardinals, by (ex-)Queen Margot ... then a stage coach company and several other less glorious activities until it was taken over and restored by the City of Paris in 1916. It’s now the home of the “Forney Library”, specialised in architecture and with a collection of about a million old postcards.

July 28, 1830, during the July Revolution - which led to the abdication of Charles X (younger brother of the decapitated Louis XVI), replaced by Louis-Philippe who remained King until the next Revolution in 1848 – a cannon bullet landed on the front of the building and can still be seen. The famous Delacroix painting “Liberty Leading the People” celebrates the 1830 event.
The facade of what is commonly known as the Odeon Theatre, now officially named Théatre de l’Europe, has numerous traces of some fusillades. I have not been able to get it confirmed if these are also traces from the July revolution, 1830, or rather from some shooting between German soldiers and French resistants in August 1944.

Maybe a few words about the theatre? It was originally built to be home of the “King’s Actors”. Marie-Antoinette officially opened the theatre (1782) and she was also present during the première of the “Marriage of Figaro” (1784). During the Revolution, the republican actors left (1791) for what today is the “Comédie Française” on the other side of the Seine. The theatre got the Odeon name in 1796. In 1819 it was promoted to be the “Second Théatre Français”, part of the “Comédie Française” and remained so until 1959. In May 1968, the theatre was one of the centres of the student uprising. In 1971 it was again promoted to the rank of “National Theatre”. It was however more and more used for foreign guest performances and for non-French plays and in 1990 declared “Théatre de l’Europe”.
March 8-11, 1918, during WW I, the German aviation bombarded Paris, preparing more heavy bombarding by long distance cannons. (Contrary to what normally is “known”, the super-cannon “Grosse Bertha” (named after Mrs. Krupp) was not in use in the bombardment of Paris). Serious damage and a lot of causalities were noted. March 11, the “War Ministry”, where then Georges Clemenceau led the French government was hit. Some traces are still there on the front of the building, which today is marked “Ministère des Armées” and houses the French Army headquarters. (See also top picture.)
When I made my posts about the “Grands Boulevards”, I found a street name plate with clear evidence of shooting. I have no idea of the origin of these traces. Sorry!

58 comments:

Michelle said...

Such interesting history. It's pretty amazing that the canon is still lodged in the building. I have been watching the mini series about John Adams. Much of it takes place in the late 1700's early 1800's in France.

David said...

Great post, I didn't know about some of these.
But you forgot what may be the biggest traces of bombing (Paris bombing of March 8-11, 1918, the same that damaged the ministry of defense building), that is on the Crédit Lyonnais building at the intersection of rue du Quatre Septembre and rue de Choiseul.

Shammickite said...

How fascinating that these bullet holes still remain, reminding us of the conflicts and violence that has taken place in Paris i the past.
If you ever come to Toronto, you may be able to take a guided tour of Toronto's bullet holes... there are more and more gun incidents, gang shootings and attacks on the street.... it's getting far worse than Paris ever was!

Shionge said...

You are so observant Peter and what a nice post :) Next time I'll open my eyes 'big' and have a closer look.

By the way, my gf is having a great time in Paris - sent me a shot her at E.Tower ;) She is freezing there heheheh...

NC said...

Are there remnants of the executions at the end of the Paris commune in 1871? I have heard there was bullet damage to a wall in père lachaise cemetery where communards were executed, but I've also heard that the wall has been replaced. Another source told me there was similar damage to a wall of the Pantheon. Any info on those locations?

SusuPetal said...

I think it's good that the traces of destruction are being left, maybe people would learn something.
Maybe not, but it's worth hoping for.

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

Wonderful work as usual, dear friend...you have captured a sad part of Paris' histoire...but knowing the past well, there is hope that it this violence will not be repeated.

Olivier said...

une belle leçon d'histoire, merci j'ai beaucoup appris (meme si je doute que ma traduction soit terrible, terrible ;o) )

richard said...

Nice info - and unusual. Must have been quite difficult to find and research all of this. How did you do it? I found the Boulevard St Martin the most interesting. You can use your imagination - something out of Rififi for example

alice said...

Bon, d'accord pour que tu recherches les traces anciennes mais ne t'aventure pas dans des endroits dangereux comme ceux dont on entend parler aux infos lorsque les bandes rivales règlent leurs comptes à coup de pétard!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Brilliant pictures Peter! If you were to ever travel to India, you should go to St. Aloysious College in Mangalore, Karnataka and visit the Chapel there. It holds some magnificient paintings by Br. Moscheni.

You may also visit the website via the following link!
http://www.staloysius.ac.in/campus/chapel/index.php

Adam said...

Very interesting finds Peter, and an impressive zoom you have there! I remember buildings in Budapest being covered with bullet holes, but I've never noticed them in Paris.

As a side note, many of your photos here have excellent examples of the vermicular stonework design !

Cergie said...

Bien sûr à Epinal qui est une ville pas si loin de la frontière franco-allemande aussi il y a des traces sur les murs, ou dans les forêts : il faut faire attention en mettant une bûche au feu ou en coupant un arbre qu'il n'y ait pas une balle perdue dedans.
Paris a vêcu l'Histoire mais s'en est bien remise avec quelques cictrices. Heureusement. Les traces cela prouve qu'il n'y a pas eu destruction totale, comme à Dresde par exemple.
(Heureusement que je ne t'ai pas taggué, je te fais confiance tu as des dossiers bien classés à l'évidence, mais tu te vois poster un simple trou de balle ?)

Cergie said...

PS : Je ne sais comment fait Delphinium. Elle poste, elle répond chez elle et elle commente chez ses amis.
En plus elle t'a répondu pour moi sur Cergipontin (ce que je n'ai plus le temps de faire pour le moment si je ne veux manquer personne)

april said...

What an astonishing idea of yours to look for such traces. Maybe they should stay there forever so the violence won't be forgotten.
(I have already translated ;-)

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

hi Peter,
wow How many people have been killed....terrible. its almost a war itself what all happened, Its nice also that on 'places'we can think of all those people, hoping that they did not die for nothing.

I like the (colour) of stones and the different types of letters (how its written) and where they all wrote it too. Very facinating.

Thanks for sowing Peter, you did a wonderfull job here!

Happy weekwishes from JoAnn/Holland

Catherine said...

Je ne sais pas si les visiteurs étrangers se rendent compte du travail de recherche pour effectuer ce post.
Bien qu'étant née à Paris et y ayant toujours vécu, j'y ai appris une multitude d'informations. Je regarderai attentivement en flanant près de ces lieux d'affrontements.

hpy said...

Je crois sincèrement que je préfère un trou normand - et pourtant je n'en abuse pas.

lyliane said...

Des petits trous , des petits trous, encore des petits trous, célèbre chanson je ne me rappelle plus du nom du chanteur, demande à Olivier.Tu dois vraiment te promener le nez en l'air, attention de ne pas te cogner aux arbres, en tous cas encore un peu de notre histoire très intéressante.

Delphinium said...

cergie se demande comment je fais. Ben c'est simple, je ne sais pas comment je fais et je préfère ne pas savoir. Juste que je fais, c'est tout. Et si je ne faisais pas, ce ne serait pas grave. Hein, qu'est-ce que t'en penses?
Tu aurais dû virer les voitures sur tes photos. :-))
Je suis allée à Dubrovnik peu de temps après la fin de la guerre. Il y avait des traces de combat sur beaucoup de murs de la ville, c'était très impressionnant.
Autrement la mer était très bleue.
C'était super cool et super beau. Mais les chats étaient très maigres.
:-))
j'arrête là mes délires
Ciaooo

Bettina said...

As usual great photos and a interesting history lesson as well. Thank you !

Emily Lin said...

The traces are all looked very interesting, but it is really hard to imagine the situation of the old days, where the revolutionary wars and etc happened. Thanks for always commenting in my blog :) New semester just begins which means I need to continue on my French Level 2... Headache..headache

Azer Mantessa said...

goosebumps here
bullet holes

:-|

Mo said...

Love your texture photos.

Marie-Noyale said...

Mais comment fais tu pour connaitre tous ces details... trouver tous ces renseignements!!
Oui oui on se rend parfaitement compte du boulot que tu fais,
sans compter le reportage en images!

Cuckoo said...

Have you read my post on Jalianwala Bagh ? It's as bad as the Colosseum of Rome or maybe this one.

Do read it when you have time.

Marylou said...

Hurrah, Peter, I am so delighted to have found your blog and from here to explore the other Paris blogs that you have listed...I have never been to Paris...but it is a longtime dream that I hope to experience in real time, in 2009....I will be reading your entire entries with great curiosity.
Marylou

Thérèse said...

Passionnant Peter, passionnant! Mais vais-je tout retenir. Heureusement on peut revenir quand on veut et quand on a du temps...

claude said...

Que de trous de balles !
Pas la forme ce matin, je repasse plus tard !

Peter said...

Michelle:
Well, just the bullet! :-) Those were the days when a lot of prominent Americans were around (Franklin, Jefferson, Adams...)!

David:
Thanks for the tip! I will go and take some photos for a possible next post. I was sure that I had only a very partial list! :-)

Shammickite:
I'm sure most cities have such traces. The ones you mention may more look like the ones on the St. Martin street plate? :-)

Peter said...

Shionge:
If your gf is still around (haven't met her) she may now also have suffered from some heavy winds. Our airports were all closed for some 12 hours.

NC:
The Père Lachaise communard wall has obviously been remodeled, but there may be some holes on a monument. I must go back and make a closer inspection. About the Panthéon, I don't know. Have also to check.

SusPetal:
Maybe. However, there is nothing to attract the attention to these traces and I believe that hardly anybody takes notice.

Peter said...

Terrie:
Yes, we should learn from history! Do we? :-)

Olivier:
On apprend (et oublie) un peu tous les jours! :-)

Richard:
Found info here and there in different books. Tried to put it all together. But obvioulsy the list is much longer, especially if you start looking for some Rififi type of events. :-)

Peter said...

Alice!
Merci de te faire des soucis! Je vais faire attention! :-)

Rakesh:
I definitely hope to come to India one day! Tahnsk for the info!

Adam:
Thanks! You are definitely an expert on wall structures! :-)

Peter said...

Cergie:
Heureusement Paris a pu rester assez intacte, surtout à la sortie de WW II (en partie grâce à Mr. Nordling)!

Cergie bis:
Delphinium est comme toujours impressionante! :-

April:
I think that as they have been there for long, they will now remain. (I was sure you wold manage to translate!) :-)

Peter said...

JoAnn:
Thanks for these words! ... and all the best also to you for the ongoing week! Take care! :-)

Catherine:
Merci! Oui certains messages nécessitent un peu de recherches. Oui, ce message a pris un peu de temps. Difficile de trouver des sources. :-)

HPY:
Toujours la même (heureusement)! :-)

Peter said...

Lyliane:
La réponse est: Serge! Si on blogue, il faut regarder à gauche, à droite, vers le haut, vers le bas... J'espère que tu vas mieux! :-)

Delphinium:
Oui, c'est essentiel que tu "fais"! Je m'en fous pas du tout et tu le sais bien, petite hypocrite! :-)
Oui, Dubrovnik après la guerre... j'ai vu que des images!
Tu peux délirer tant que tu veux, à ta manière! :-)

Bettina:
Thanks! Hopefully will soon see you in Paris! :-)

Peter said...

Emily:
Good contiued luck with the French! :-)

Azer:
:-)

Mo:
Thanks, but the texture is just there! :-)

Peter said...

Marie-Noyale:
Merci d'apprécier, mais ça m'amuse (et m'occupe) de chercher ces renseignements)! :-)

Cuckoo:
I will read it, as soon as I have finished to comment the comments! :-)

Marylou:
Happy to find YOU here! If yuu wish, you can contact me before or during your visit! :-)

Peter said...

Thérèse:
On ne peut pas tout retenir! J'ai déjà oublié une grande partie de ce que je viens d'écrire! :-)

Claude:
A plus tard, en espérant que ça ira meiux!!

Kate said...

Peter, the beauty of Paris still survives after so much past violence and discord. Thank you for continually posting photos and information on this remarkable city.

ALAIN said...

Je ne savais pas qu'il y avait encore autant de traces meurtrières dans Paris.

A Neuilly sur Marne (ne pas confondre avec "sur Seine") il y a un obus du siège de 1870 qui n'a pas explosé, dans la façade d'un troquet.

la repasseuse said...

Je repasse mais je ne suis pas mieux que ce matin, Je repasserai demain.

Ruth said...

It's actually good to keep these bullet-ridden artifacts visible.

I stayed at the St. Roch hotel, just across the narrow street from the church. I saw the bullet holes too. It was not such a great hotel (nicknamed Saint Roach), but we were thrilled to stay there anyway, because every evening, after very long days tromping through the city, we came 'home' to concerts, as you heard. Choir, organ, every evening something different. We fell asleep to that music through our window each night for a week.

JM said...

This is SO interesting! I really enjoyed the post! Great work!

Chuckeroon said...

First rate as usual. It's surprising what you find when you really look, isn't it.

Peter said...

Kate:
Yes, fortunatley it survives!

Alain:
Non explosé?! Un troquet à éviter!

Claude:
J'espère que ça ira mieux demain!

Peter said...

Ruth:
I guess that St. Roch is one of the best for mostly free concerts!

JM:
Nice to see you pleased! :-)

Chuckeroon:
The first quality of a blogger! :-)

Abraham Lincoln said...

I have seen a lot of World War II films or documentaries showing the
French resistance shooting Germans trying to escape and I am guessing a lot of those bullet holes still exist somewhere in your city. most interesting post.

Dusty Lens said...

Interesting! I know Paris to be a historic city, but is amazing to see evidence of the ugly parts of historic violence. Let's hope for violent turmoil to cease.

Peter said...

Abraham:
I guess you are right! I will have to look for more of them!

Dusty Lens:
Let's hope! :-)

Mona said...

I have also seen some cannon ball marks and bullet marks in our Fort wall in Agra. ( One day i will go there and get some pictures to post)

These bullet marks are now landmarks of history!

Maxime said...

En campagne, il y aurait probablement une série assez semblable à faire avec les panneaux de signalisation pris pour cible par les chasseurs ... Ce ne sont hélas pas les pires traces que peut laisser la bêtise humaine.

Peter said...

Mona:
Looking forward to see your bullet marks!

Maxime:
Oui, il y a sans doute pire! Encore que... il vaudrait mieux rester chez soi les jours de chasse!

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

Hi Peter, Again this is moi, :) I added myself as a follower from this blog, this way I click on your name on my list, and.... YEP I arrived here immidiatly ( remember that I could not find this blog btw?) Solved is the 'not find you problem' Happy weekwishes!

:) JoAnn

Babooshka said...

This truly fascinating those images are so evocative of troubled historical times.

Peter said...

JoAnn:
Happy you solved you little problem!

Babooshka:
Happy if you appreciate!

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