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Where Did They Put the Guillotine?

Execution of Louis XVI. Engraving (unknown: mid-19th century). Author’s collection

In the spring of 1965, a young boy, aged ten, stood on the Place de la Concorde in Paris and looked around at this giant space that now contained an Egyptian obelisk, two big fountains and swirling mass of automobiles going around in a circle.

He was trying to imagine what this site might have looked like in 1789 and throughout the French Revolution and the period of time known as “The Terror”. He knew that this was the place where the guillotine had been erected and many people, including the King and Queen of France, had been executed.

As he stood there with his parents, he asked a very simple question; “Where did they put the guillotine?” No one knew the answer.

For me, that started a life-long fascination with history and in particular, European history. I was fortunate to have grown up in Europe (Holland and Germany) during the 1960’s. Today, my wife and I love to travel around Europe. We are visitors that like to see original buildings, places where the buildings stood and things like that. We want to know if the roof is the original one, is the wallpaper original or recreated. When we were in Shakespeare’s home, the docent told us that one of the rooms we were walking through had the original floor that Shakespeare walked on. We like that kind of stuff.

I think that there are a lot of people who travel, both domestically and internationally, that enjoy and approach history like us through their travels.

This is the reason why I am writing a book called Where Did They Put The Guillotine…A Walking Tour of Revolutionary Paris (1789-1794).

I now know where the guillotine stood in the Place de la Concorde. In fact, I know where they all stood. As you and I get to know one another better, I will reveal that along with other interesting facts about what you can expect to see in Paris that is associated with the French Revolution.

I have much enjoyed this past year, taking you on the journey of writing my first book, enhancing your knowledge of the French Revolution and peeking your curiosity so that you will read more about the Revolution and to give you some insight as to my research on the buildings, places, sites and people that were integral to the Revolution.

Thanks so much for following my newsletter and blogs as well as my little journey through this incredibly interesting process of writing a series of niche walking tour books based on European historical periods or events. –Stew

Please note that I do not and will not take compensation from individuals or companies I mention or promote in my blog.  

Copyright © 2014 Stew Ross

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