||"In less than an hour twenty-seven barricades
rose from the ground in the single quartier of the markets...The
narrow, uneven, sinuous streets full of turns and corners, were
admirably chosen; the environs of the markets in particular,
a network of streets more intricate than a forest."
The above image is a daguerreotype taken by
M.Thibault in 1848, entitled "Barricades avant l'attaque,
Rue Saint-Maur" ("Barricades Before the Attack,
Rue Saint-Maur"). It depicts a familiar scene of
the time: the old streets of Paris obstructed by barricades.
If you click on the image, you will see a close up of these
barricades and the materials from which they are constructed.
Also evident in this daguerreotype is the overall condition
of the streets: narrow and cramped, dirty and run down. Haussmann's
post-revolutionary changes completely transformed the streets
into clean and spacious avenues. The quote (to the right of
the image) from Les Miserables describes the condition
of the streets.
Prior to Revolutionary times, the winding streets of Paris were
paved with cobblestones. During the Revolution, citizens used the
cobblestones to construct barricades and as weapons. When Haussmann
was restructuring the city of
Paris, he used modern pavement to cover the cobblestones, making
it that much harder for the citizens to retaliate against the government.
He also widened and straightened them to lessen the likelihood and
ease of an uprising. For
more on this, click here.
|"The barricade Saint Antoine was monstrous; it was
three stories high and seven hundred feet long. It barred from
one corner to the other the vast mouth of the Faubourg, that
is to say, three streets; ravined, jagged, notched, abrupt,
indented with an immense rent, buttressed with mounds which
were themselves bastions, pushing out capes here and there,
strongly supported by the two great promontories of houses of
the Faubourg, it rose like a cyclopean embankment at the foot
of the terrible square which saw the 14th of July."
(Hugo 1014) [For more of this
quote click here]
This is an excerpt of a song written about
the battles being fought among the streets of Revolutionary
"From the ashes call the colors
Blending gently in one another
Pavement flies torn up by bare hands
To the other side where it all lands
It's just another ugly Sunday behind barricades. "
Thus, the streets of Paris before Haussmann were authentic and
romantic, but when the ideals and overall image of Paris changed,
it was time for the streets to change. These renovations allowed
the bourgeoisie to stroll, shop, and socialize on the new spacious