The French Guards' Barracks

Battle between Royal-Allemand Soldiers and a Detachment of French Guards, on July 12, 1789 (currently Chaussée d’Antin)
Battle between Royal-Allemand Soldiers and a Detachment of French Guards, on July 12, 1789 (currently Chaussée d’Antin)

In 1789, the “Depot of the French Guard” was located here: large barracks for the royal troops. However, starting in June 1789, some of these soldiers started disobeying orders and joined up with insurgents. On July 12th, it was here where they even turned against the Royal-Allemand regiment, who, in charge of containing popular discontent, started to fire into the crowd. With the Revolution, the regiment was dissolved. In 1792, on the location of the former barracks, the architect Vestier built the building that still stands there today. It first served as a military teaching school before becoming a singing school. It is one of the rare Parisian buildings that was built during the Revolution.

Location

Itinerary

38 boulevard des Italiens / 4 rue de la Chaussée d’Antin

Suggestion

The Expiatory Chapel and its neighborhood
Lakanal’s Garden and the Kings’ Heads of Notre-Dame

To find out more…

When soldiers supported the people

Colonel Châtelet Saved from Protesters by the French Guards, at the French Guards’ Barracks (currently Chaussée d’Antin), July 12, 1789
Colonel Châtelet Saved from Protesters by the French Guards, at the French Guards’ Barracks (currently Chaussée d’Antin), July 12, 1789

In 1789, the Duke of Châtelet, who commanded the French Guard, was known for his severity. In June, he was ruthless when soldiers refused to stay in their barracks and started participating in assemblies that were popping up all over Paris. On July 12th, as soon as the Revolution broke out, insurgents immediately turned against him. Threatened, he owed his salvation to the intervention of his soldiers. It was here, in the Depot of the French Guard, where he hid, while the crowd rumbled outside. However, he still symbolized the Ancien Régime and its violence. He was ultimately guillotined in 1793.

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