Down with Unfair Taxes! The Chartres Rotunda

Today, it is one of the entrances to the Parc Monceau. However, in 1789, this rotunda was a tollgate and part of the Farmers General wall, which had just been built in order to more efficiently tax merchandise entering Paris. Built in 1788 with public funds by the famous architect Ledoux, this sumptuous rotunda in the Antique style shocked people with its extravagance. It symbolized everything wrong with society: not only did it embody the injustice of taxes, but since it was located near the garden of the Duke of Orléans, it also represented the aristocracy’s extravagance… There were also rumors that orgies even occurred here. In some of the lists of grievances drawn up in the spring of 1789, it was called even referred to as the “Bastille”… It would ultimately be saved from destruction when the tollgates were burned in July 1789.

Tollgate Located behind the Duke of Orléans’ Garden
Tollgate Located behind the Duke of Orléans’ Garden

Location

Itinerary

Entrance to the Parc Monceau, 35 boulevard de Courcelles

Suggestion

The Parc Monceau Neighborhood
A Forgotten Cemetery

To find out more…

Panic at the Monceau tollgate

View of a Portion of the Monceaux Garden and the Outer Rotunda, Courcelle, Roule and Boulevard Tollgates
View of a Portion of the Monceaux Garden and the Outer Rotunda, Courcelle, Roule and Boulevard Tollgates

After 1789, the Paris tollgates were sensitive areas. Many nobles had already fled to foreign countries in order to escape the Revolution. Any suspicious travel aroused concern. On August 8, 1790, there was panic at the Chartres tollgate. A driver lost control of a large carriage pulled by six horses, loaded with a large trunk and followed by… a cow. It was a Sunday. Customers from open-air cafés came out and surrounded the vehicle. There were no passengers!!! A rumor spread immediately: a famous person had been trying to flee the country. The Guards were called in, but the mystery was eventually cleared up: the carriage belonged to a certain “Milady Spencer,” an English aristocrat who simply wanted to transport her belongings to Passy.

#ParcoursRevolution
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