A Palace for the Representatives of the People

The “Bourbon palace” owes its name to its owners: the Princes of Condé, Dukes of Bourbon, who were members of the royal family. Like other royal or princely property, it was confiscated by the State and nationalized in 1791. It then changed names: it was called the House of the Revolution. For some time, it became a warehouse and then a prison. In 1794, the National School of Public Works, the future Ecole polytechnique, took up residence here. Four years later in 1798, deputies from the Council of Five Hundred moved into the premises.



Palais Bourbon, Quai d'Orsay at the end of the Pont de la Concorde


The Place de la Concorde and its neighborhood
The Guillotine

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Deputies move into the Bourbon Palace

In 1798, the deputies from the Council of Five Hundred left the Riding Academy. They did not have to go very far: they moved into the Bourbon Palace, located just on the other side of the Seine. Elected by well-to-do men, they wore solemn clothing: they needed to show that the people no longer made the laws! Today, only a trace of the décor from the Revolution remains, but it is significant. The deputies of the National Assembly still sit facing a bas-relief from 1798 sculpted by François-Frédéric Lemot, entitled Fame with a trumpet at its lips announcing the major events of the Revolution and History writing the word Republic. The message is clear: the laws voted on in France must have a universal scope.

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