From the once vast Franciscan monastery, only the refectory remains. In 1790, the monastery was nationalized and the monks were forced to leave. Everyone who was in need of a place to gather seemed to vie for this location. The members of a radical club held their meetings here and earned the name: “the Cordeliers.” On May 17, 1791, the club was expelled. In 1792, the chapel was transformed into a hospital for those injured during the storming of the Tuileries (August 10, 1792). In 1795, the majority of the monastery was removed to make room for the Medical School.
After his assassination (July 13, 1793), the Paris deputy and journalist Marat was displayed in the neighboring amphitheater of the Medical School (still in existence today). That was where David made the sketch that would be used in the famous painting Marat Assassinated (1793). Marat’s remains were buried in the monastery’s gardens before being transferred to the Panthéon at the end of 1794.
On July 16, 1793, the Cordeliers church hosted Marat’s funeral. This radical journalist and Paris deputy was much loved by revolutionaries from the neighborhood at that time, as well as sans-culottes and soldiers from all over France. The Society of Revolutionary Republican Women came out in droves for the burial: Marat was known for his support of women’s rights. And yet, three days earlier, it was a woman who had killed him: this unknown woman would become famous under the name Charlotte Corday.