Image by Julia Fortuin

Chapelle Expiatoire – The opposite of Bastille

We all know the Bastille monument and what it stands for, as it is even the French national holiday. This chapel is actually the infamous counterpart of the story: it’is the place where Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI are commemorated. 

Although the corpses of the royals are officially buried in the Cathedral of Saint Denis (a banlieue with a rough reputation, just north from Paris), this is where their bodies were first put after they were guillotined.

Nowadays, France seems to have a bit of an ambivalent attitude towards their royals. Versailles is one of the biggest, best exploited tourist attractions, but the end of royalism is for obvious reasons a rather humble commemoration. However, I did find out that there is actually still a small minority in France that is in favor of the royals, although I’m not sure how that could practically still be a possibility.

It was not the history that drew me to this place, but its pretty garden and intimate architecture – both are quite in contrast with the majestic boulevards surrounding it. Located in Paris’ 8th district, known for business and fancy shopping, it was pure luck that I stumbled upon this little sanctuary of royalty.

A simple entrance costs €6, but if you’re a history geek you can opt for a guided tour/conference (English is possible) for €13. It’s very pretty, but if you’re visiting lots of places in Paris, this little park and chilling on one of its benches might be just what you need!

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Details about this spot



29, rue Pasquier, Paris

Telephone number


Opening Times

Tue & Thu - Sat 10:00 - 12:30 &13:30 - 17:00


Simple entrance: € 6


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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)