On October 16th 1793 a simple cart left the Conciergerie, the revolutionaries’ prison on Ile-de-la-Cite. Marie-Antoinette was sitting on it, wearing a simple withe shirt and a bonnet, like a commoner. She was going to the guillotine. No famous last words were spoken by the “last” queen of France. She just said “Pardon me sir, I didn’t meant to” for she stepped on the executioner’s foot. Se was then decapitated in front of all Paris. The huge square where this happened it is still in the heart of Paris, it has just changed its name from Place de la Revolution to Place de la Concorde. A way to erase the bloody “souvenir” related to the guillotine and the countless executions that took place there during the French Revolution.
Today you can find many places related to Marie Antoinette in Paris (besides Versailles, the Petit Trianon and the Hameau de la Reine):
- you can visit the Conciergerie, the prison (the original cell is gone)
- you can stop by Louvre to admire few of her belongings
- you can walk in the Tuileries Garden where the Tuileries Palace once stood
- you can visit the Chapelle Expiatoire, the chapel built on the cemetery where her body was discovered during the Restoration
- you can go in the outskirt of Paris to visit Saint Denis, the cathedral where her monument and tomb are today.
Little curiosity: you can still buy her favourite chocolats… she actually used it to treat headache.
Who was Marie Antoinette? Was she a horrible queen or not so bad? Was she the queen of Fashion or just an average queen (compared to French standard)? Was she bad or was she good? Well, real history, like real life, is never white or black… I will post some information about her in the next day and… a new online tour is now available: MARIE-ANTOINETTE, the real history.
Contact me for all the details!