Paris during the French Revolution with Assassin's Creed

A stroll through Paris during the French Revolution with Assassin’s Creed

Would you like to go back in time to see what Paris looked like in 1789? With larger than life images created by Ubisoft for the video game Assassin's Creed, take a trip back into the past and discover the capital as it was in the turbulent era of the French Revolution.

Embark on a journey back in time

As you follow our walk, visit the remains of this epic period and compare the past and the present. Although some monuments have disappeared, like for example the famous Bastille prison, many are still visible and give Paris the appearance it has today. So, embark on a journey back in time and see places that have withstood the passing centuries and been witness to the evolution of the city!

Starting point : metro Invalides / Finishing point : metro Bastille

1 Hôtel national des Invalides: ‘Aux armes, citoyens !’ (‘To arms, citizens!’)

Hôtel de France Invalides - Vue

The Invalides were the prelude to a major event of the Revolution. On the morning of 14 July 1789, a crowd of several thousand angry men plundered its armouries before heading to the Bastille. The rest is History!

2 Place de la Concorde: lift to the Scaffold

Place de la Concorde, Paris © Thinkstock

Renamed ‘Place de la Révolution’ in 1792, it was in this square that major executions took place. On 21 January 1793, at 10.22 am to be exact, the deposed king Louis XVI was guillotined here. In total, 1,119 people lost their heads here, including Marie-Antoinette, Danton and Robespierre.

3 Jardin des Tuileries: the last hours of the monarchy

Jardin des Tuileries © OTCP - David Lefranc

In former times, the Tuileries Gardens housed a palace that witnessed the fall of the monarchy … During the bloody day of 10 August 1792, it was stormed by the sans-culottes, and the Royal family, who lived there under house arrest, were thrown into prison.

4 Place Vendôme: statues are not eternal …

Vendôme column, Paris © OTCP - David Lefranc

Despite its stately appearance, the luxurious Place Vendôme experienced many fortunes and misfortunes during the Revolution. In 1792, the statue of Louis XIV which stood in its centre was knocked down by crowd. A symbolic act!

5 Palais-Royal: revolt rumbling behind the scenes

Domaine national du Palais-Royal - Cours

On the eve of the Revolution, the Palais-Royal was at the heart of the turmoil! On 12 July 1789, following the dismissal of Necker by Louis XVI at Versailles, Camille Desmoulins climbed on a table in a cafe and called the people to arms. This speech triggered events and two days later the Bastille was stormed.

6 Musée du Louvre: Heritage art …

"The Venus de Milo", Musée du Louvre, Paris © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

Prior to housing one of the largest collections of art in the world, the Louvre was a royal residence. It was on 10 August 1793, a year to the day after the fall of the monarchy, that the Louvre became the ‘muséum central des arts’. A museum was born.

7 Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville : the guillotine enters the scene

Hôtel de Ville de Paris, façade © Fotolia - Delphimages

For more than 500 years, the Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville – formerly named ‘Place de Grève’ – served as a place for public executions. On 25 April 1792, it was in this square that the guillotine was used for the first time to execute the sadly famous Nicolas-Jacques Pelletier.

8 Notre Dame de Paris: a cathedral in turmoil

Place Notre Dame Paris Revolution Assasin's Creed © DR

Admired today throughout the world, the Cathedral underwent the full fury of the Revolution and suffered sacking, pillaging and destruction. In a time of dechristianization, the Cathedral officially became the ‘Temple of Reason’ and then was used as a wine storehouse.

9 Conciergerie: the antechamber of the guillotine

Conciergerie - Intérieur

During the Revolution, the Conciergerie was the last residence of Marie-Antoinette, who was transferred here on 2 August 1793. She was to remain here until 22 September 1793, the day of her execution. Today, we can see her cell reconstituted with her former personal belongings.

10 Palais du Luxembourg: and the Palace also became a prison …

Palais du Luxembourg  Revolution Assasins Creed © DR

During the Revolution, the Luxembourg Palace was transformed into a prison. Major figures of the Revolution were detained here, notably Danton and Camille Desmoulins in March 1794.

11 Panthéon: it was once a church …

Panthéon, Paris © Thinkstock

This solid and stately looking building endured a turbulent history during the French Revolution. The Pantheon was originally a church ‘the Eglise Sainte-Geneviève’, which in 1791 changed its vocation to become a ‘mausoleum for the great men of the Nation’.

12 Place de la Bastillle: the Revolution takes place

Place de la Bastille Paris Revolution Assasin's Creed © DR

Our walk ends in the Place de la Bastille. It is hard to believe that more than two centuries ago, an impressive 24-metre-high fortress stood here. During the revolt, the Bastille prison was stormed by the people and this was to mark the beginning of the French Revolution.