Duration: 2,5 hours
Group Size: 25 max
Refund up to 48h
- Private walking tour in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the Latin Quarter, and Ile de la Cité
- Rich, captivating, and thorough exploration of the French Revolution
This private 2,5-hour walking tour focuses on the genesis, stakes and meanings of the French Revolution. We’ll walk in the footsteps of its leaders and victims through the historic districts of the Paris Left Bank—the Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and Ile de la Cité. Key events and dramatic atmosphere of the Revolutionary years will be brought to life in this captivating exploration of one of the most turbulent periods of the French history.
About the tour
Paris was one of the main stages of the French Revolution. Many of its landmarks are disseminated across the French capital—the Louvre, the Palais-Royal, the Place of Concorde, the Invalides. This 2,5-hour walking tour focuses on the Left Bank—the Latin Quarter and the neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, associated with the genesis of the Revolution. We’ll walk in the footsteps of its charismatic and unsettling leaders and discover iconic locations where their ideas were forged and brought to life. From the outbreak in 1789 to the coup d’Etat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799, we’ll talk about the key events and the dramatic atmosphere of the Revolutionary years.
The Genesis of the French Revolution: Walking Tour
Our walking tour begins at the church of Saint-Sulpice, at the heart of the district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. This beautiful historic church will serve as a backdrop to discuss the relationship between the Church and the French State during the Revolution and its reverberation in today’s France.
We’ll meet one of the first French feminists, who was brought to the spotlight and then devoured by the Revolution. Then, we’ll walk through narrow medieval streets to the Luxembourg Gardens.
Luxembourg Gardens, Odeon and the Jacobins
The Luxembourg Palace is today home to the Higher Chamber of the French Parliament. During the Reign of Terror, this former royal residence served as one of the most daunting prisons. Even the leaders of the Revolution didn’t escape it.
The walking tour continues to the neighborhood of Odeon. We’ll examine—from cafés to convents—the hot spots of political and intellectual debate in the Revolutionary France. We’ll see where Marat was assassinated, where Danton was taken to the guillotine, and where Napoleon left his tricorn hat. Speaking of the guillotine: we’ll dismantle some myths around it and find out the higher purpose behind the terrifying ‘national razor’.
Latin Quarter and Napoleon
Moving on to the Latin Quarter, we’ll delve into a picturesque 12th-century district at the footstep of the Notre-Dame cathedral. A cheap hotel witnessed a breaking point of the French Revolution—Napoleon Bonaparte’s sudden rise to power, backed up, as Thomas Carlyle famously put it, by ‘a whiff of grapeshot’.
Ile de la Cité and the Reign of Terror
Our walking tour will end at the Ile de la Cité at one of the darkest emblems of the French Revolution in Paris—the former royal palace of Conciergerie and the Palais de Justice. During the Revolution, Conciergerie housed the dreadful Revolutionary Tribunal and the prison from which Queen Marie-Antoinette and Robespierre were taken to the guillotine.
Many iconic monuments of the French Revolution, such as the Bastille prison or the Tuileries Palace, don’t exist anymore on the Right Bank of the Seine. This walking tour of the Left Bank takes you to places that keep its vibrant and chilling memories alive. No need to be a French history buff! For this comprehensive private tour, your genuine interest is enough. Discover the tumultuous and dense period that shaped today’s identity of France… and the global vision for democracy and human rights.
Where is the meeting point?
We will email you the meeting point and other details of the tour upon booking.
Is the tour suitable for young children / seniors / turbulent teenagers?
Due to violent historic content, we recommend this tour for guests above 12 years old. In terms of physical fitness, it is appropriate for all guests in good health with good mobility. We walk at a moderate pace with short breaks.
I have particular interests and/or special needs. Can this tour be customized?
Yes. Please contact us, and we will be happy to come up with a tailor-made solution for you.
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Flexible reservation options
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