Skip to content

Paris: Revolution and Resistance Posts

Tour of Resistance Sites

Some photos of our tour of resistance spaces and places in the 16e last week. Thank you to those who came along, and to Emily the photographer.


The stairs where SOE agent Forest Yeo-Thomas was arrested, at Passy metro.

Pierre Brossolette’s bookstore, a hub for some of the early resisters in Paris.

The home of communist resister and Auschwitz survivor, Charlotte Delbo.

The address of half-Indian agent Noor Inayat Khan’s safehouse, and the scene of her betrayal.

By the lycée Janson de Sailly

Some loitering résistantes 

Sauntering through the seizième.

The headquarters of the Gestapo and German security services, on Avenue Foch.

Leave a Comment

Resistance Tour – Sources

Thanks to those of you who came along today. Here are just a few sources to follow up if you’re interested:

Yeo-Thomas A blue plaque was unveiled outside his London home in 2010:

Pierre Brossolette: there are no books dedicated to him in English, but he is covered in Matthew Cobb’s The Resistance He also appears in some wartime newsreel footage here:

Noor Inayat Khan Shrabani Basu’s book Spy Princess is probably the most easily available biography: . If you search online, you may also find BBC’s Timewatch programme from 2006, The Princess Spy. A memorial in London was unveiled in 2012:

Charlotte Delbo: her collected works in English are published under the title Auschwitz and After –

Odette Sansom Jerrard Tickell’s book, on which the film Odette was based, is still in print – As we discussed, the video includes cameos by SOE’s French section head, Maurice Buckmaster, and Odette’s future husband and fellow agent, Peter Churchill:

Vera Atkins and the search for SOE’s missing agents:


Leave a Comment

A Few Signs of Revolution…

This is a plaque to commemorate the work of Charles Comtesse, who in 1625 completed the bell tower of the church of Saint-Nicholas-du-Chardonnet, on rue des Bernadins, here: Revolutionaries scratched out Comtesse’s name (because of its aristocratic ties) and references to the King. (If you go into the church, you’ll also find a monument to favourite painter of Louis XIV, Charles Le Brun, who decorated Versailles, and is buried here along with his mother.)

Rue (Saint) André des Arts, one of the many streets that lost its religious connection under the revolution. Around the corner is another example, rue (Saint) Séverin:

Coats of arms were erased from many buildings, such as the old Hotel Carnavalet (now the Musée Carnvalet):

And revolutionary graffiti in the seventeenth century Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis church, in the Marais. Despite repeated attempts to remove it, the declaration  “French Republic or death”, refuses to budge. Perhaps the communard who wrote it also defended the barricade outside, on rue Saint-Antoine, during the “bloody week” of May 21-28, 1871.



Comments closed

Images en lutte

Some photos from the ‘Images en lutte’ exhibition showing at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris until May 20th.

The exhibition explores the visual culture surrounding revolutionary activity through May 68 and beyond, including work by the Atelier Populaire.

Further info:


Leave a Comment

Saint-Sulpice crypt

If you’re interested in continuing your underground explorations, the church of Saint-Sulpice opens its crypt to visitors on the second and fourth Sundays of every month, starting at 3pm. The tour is in French (about 90 minutes), but it is free. You can book a place by mailing .


Leave a Comment

Catacombs tour

Thank you to all the students who came along on Saturday to tour the carrière des Capucins. And thanks especially to our guide, Gilles Thomas, whose unrivalled knowledge of the Paris underground brought it to life.

Here are some images from our explorations:

Introduction to the underground spaces of Paris.
This area was used as an air-raid shelter, dating from the mid-1930s.
This “fountain” with a gauge was built in 1810, to control the height of the water table.


The foundations of 263, rue de la Bourbe, an eighteenth century street (now Boulevard de Port Royal). A fleur-de-lys once sat above the house number, but these symbols of royalty were chipped off during the revolutionary years.
Fragments of old Parisian street signs


Service well, manhole cover 20 metres above.


The G of Charles-Axel Guillaumot, the man who prevented Paris from collapsing.


Slightly lost.



C18 graffiti

Cabinet minéralogique


Strange luminous sculpture.


Leave a Comment

Walking Tour – Introduction

Here are some photos of our walking tour led by Nigel in the introductory session.


Setting out!


Listening attentively to our tour guide!


The Communards’ Wall, up against which men were summarily shot, in the Jardin du Luxembourg.



The sign to the Supreme Being outside the Saint-Sulpice church


The Gnomon, an astronomical instrument installed in 1743, inside the Saint-Sulpice church.


The former home of feminist Olympe de Gouges, in rue Servandoni.



The hiding place of philosopher Condorcet during the Terror of 1793/4, and of the resistance publisher Editions de Minuit in 1943, in rue Servandoni.


Metre measure in rue Vaugirard.


The Pantheon, where the remains of a number of key historical figures are kept including Marie Curie and Jean Moulin, a Second World War resister.



Café d’Harcourt/Librairie Rive Gauche, the Nazi bookshop that was attacked by resistance fighters, (which is now Gap!) in the Place de la Sorbonne.


Shrapnel damage from the liberation of Paris, August 1944, on the wall of Odéon Theatre.



Leave a Comment

Saturday Tour

Dear All,

Just a quick update about the Catacombs tour on Saturday. A couple of you asked about bringing friends, but unfortunately I won’t be able to add any more names to the list – we’re pretty much at our quota. Apologies.

If you can’t make it on the day, you get lost or need to contact me for any reason, just email me at  or call/text me on +44 7479 945749. As we have to enter via a private entrance, it won’t be possible to catch up with us if you arrive late, so please try and be there for 1.50-2pm.

Any questions, just mail me. Otherwise I’ll see you all on Saturday!



Leave a Comment

Water resistance

If you’re worried about the flooding of the Seine, don’t be. Not yet, anyway. This is not unusual here, and we have a way to go to equal 1939, or 1982…

Water levels marked on the fire station at La Monnaie:


And this is nothing compared to the flood of 1910. The marker for that one is about 3 metres higher:





Leave a Comment