Lakanal’s Garden and the Kings’ Heads of Notre-Dame
This private mansion, built during the Revolution, today houses the Upper Council of the Magistracy. Built in 1795 for the deputy and scholar Joseph Lakanal, it was later inhabited by General Moreau in 1799. Go through the portico in order to access the interior courtyard. It is here that in 1977, an interesting discovery was made. During renovations, someone found 21 of the 28 heads from Notre-Dame’s Kings of Judah statues, probably sculpted at the beginning of the 13th century, which the revolutionaries had decapitated in 1793: wanting to apply the law banning monarchical symbols in the public space, they had confused them with the statues of the Kings of France! Lakanal then, in all likelihood, salvaged them in order to decorate his garden… Today, their remains are conserved in the National Museum of the Middle Ages. The statues in place at Notre-Dame are those by Viollet-le-Duc.
20 rue de la Chaussée d’Antin, accessible inner courtyard