- Revolutionary Tradition and Les Mis
of the Bastille
- -- Fall of Robespierre
in Les Miserables
Names and Games
palace of the of the Tuileries
- The palace of the Tuileries,
along with its gardens, will always be remembered as a place
of bloody confrontations and liberating moments in Paris's history.
The palace was stormed 4 times by angry Parisians and even the
king, Louis XVI and his family, were kept as prisoners within
its walls. The palace housed both of the ruling classes of Paris
at various times, the monarchy and the republican rebels, making
it a historical marker of the tumultuous events of the French
- *this map of 1870 Paris clearly shows the outline
of the Tuileries palace
- Throughout Victor Hugo's novel,
Les Miserable, the author makes various references to
the many revolutions that occurred within the city of Paris.
While vibrantly describing the Parisian mans spirit, Victor Hugo,
summons to mind many historical events, events that at the time
were very fresh in every Parisians mind. The political voice
of Les Miserable forces the reader to become familiar
with pivotal moments in the French revolutions. Some of the bloodiest
and rememberable moments of the French revolutions took place
on the front steps or interior of the Palace of the Tuileries.
The palace was stormed four times by different Parisian crowds,
each demanding new improvements in Paris society. Louis XVI was
driven out of his palace at Versailles and forced to live in
the Tuileries, making the monarch closer to the people and their
demands. In the below quote Hugo recalls August 10, 1792, when
a Parisian mob broke into the palace killing many of the guards,
while searching for the royal family who had escaped.
- Nobody sleeps
better than he (a Parisian), nobody is more frankly frivolous
and idle than he, nobody seems to forget things more easily than
he; but do not trust him, notwithstanding; he is apt at all sorts
of nonchalance, but when there is glory to be gained he is wonderful
in every species of fury. Give him a pike and he will play the tenth of August; give him a musket, and you shall have an Austerlitz.
Miserable, book iii, chapter v)
- In 1476, during the reign of
Charles VI, the field that the palace
towered over was nothing but green fields just beyond the city
limits of Paris. The field was used mostly for city trash dumping.
- In 1518 Francis I purchased
a house that had been erected on the spot by Des Essarts, for
his mother, who found the existing royal home, the Palis des
Tournelles in Marais, stuffy and uncomfortable. He demolished
the existing building and built a grand house.
- In 1564 Catherine de Medici
took up residence at the palace and began expanding the building
by adding wings to the louvre, and created the west wing or the
Tuileries palace. However, after she met with her fortune teller,
and was advised to beware of the ghost of St. Germain, she abandoned
the palace for good.
- When Henri IV inhabited the
residence he too expanded it by adding large art galleries and
pavilions which connected to the louvre.
6, 1789 a crowd of women
marched on Versailles and forced the royal
family to move to Paris, and occupy the Tuleries. This significant
day made the monarch
- On June 20, 1792 the palace
was attacked by an angry Parisian crowd, who were asking for
the food and water conditions that the people of Paris were living
in to be remedied.
- Again on August
10, 1792 angry Parisians attacked the palace and massacred
600 Swiss guards, keeping some of their remains as trophies.
The mob was looking for the royal family who had already fled
palace by way of the gardens and were on their way to the headquarters
of the Legislative Assembly. The confrontation was the bloodiest
of the revolution thus far!
- In 1808 Napoleon began constructing
the northern gallery which also connects to the Louvre. Under
Napoleon, the palace became the official residence of the first
consul and imperial palace
- After the restoration, the palace
became the chief residence of the king, and royal family. This
was to make sure the king was in touch with the people who allowed
him to return to the thrown as a constitutional monarch.
- July 29, 1830 the palace was
attacked for a third time by Parisians and occupied it until
Louis Philipee had the problem remedied by making more promises.
He also took up permanent residence there until 1848 when it
was again invaded, on February 24, 1848, and never again used
as a royal residence. The Swiss guards stationed at the palace,
aware of what happened in 1792 to their predecessors, abandoned
- On February 26, 1848 a decree
was issued, that was never executed, stating that the palace
was to be used as an asylum for invalid workers.
- During the revolution of 1848,
when it was invaded, the rebels used the palace as a hospital
for their wounded.
- In 1849 painting and sculpture
exhibitions were displayed in the palace and it also under went
a make over, being complimented with tastes of 16th century Italian
- In 1871 the palace was burned
to the ground during a clash with another communard government.
The burnt remains sat for 12 years before they were disposed
of and the gardens enlarged.
* This is a picture of the burnt remains of the palace