sites of public execution


Over 16,000 people were executed in Paris by the guillotine during the Reign of Terror of 1793 - 1794. The guillotine was moved around the city for the executions and in 1794, it was installed in the Place de Bastille. This was a significant site for executions during the French Revolution. The Bastille prison, which housed a large weapons and ammunitions cache, was stormed and overtaken by revolutionaries on July 14, 1789. This was the prison where political prisoners were housed, and it thus the storming of the Bastille was an important symbolic protest against the monarchy and an event which is still commemorated each year on the 14th of July.

Today, in the center of the Place de Bastille stands a column commemorating another Revolution. The 'Colonne de Juillet' was built by Louis-Phillipe from 1831 - 1840 in honor of the 1830 July Revolution, which was responsible for his rise to power. The Place de Bastille is still a symbolic place for protestors; many modern demonstrations and political marches related to current issues start here.


Site of Public Executions by Guillotine

(Place de Bastille, Paris)

20 x 21", 2007