Palais du Luxembourg

Arrondissement 6

Numbers: 15-17 Rue Vaugirard

During the Revolutionary Terror (April 6 1793 to July 28 1794), the Palace became an overflow prison, holding among others Danton and Desmoulins who were both executed on April 5 1794.

In December 1830 a demonstration against the clemency shown to Charles X’s former ministers, was violently put down outside the Palace.

The Palace was the location of the Workers’ Commission set up after the February 1848 revolution. Workers had demanded a Minister of Labour, calling the post a ‘Minister of Progress’, but this had been turned down and Louis Blanc accepted the position of President of the Commission instead.

Others nominated to the Commission included Albert and the followers of Fourier, Victor Considerant and François Vidal.

Pierre Marie de Saint-Georges, the Minister responsible for the National Workshops set up in 1848 was also based at the Palace. On June 22 Louis Pujol was nominated spokesperson of the 56 delegates chosen by a workers’ meeting at the Panthéon to negotiate with Pierre Marie.

The meeting took place at the Luxembourg Palace, and Pierre Marie’s attack on the delegation, asking if they were ‘slaves’ to Pujol, fueled an anger that observers credited with sparking the huge June 1848 workers’ uprising.

In May 1871 the military tribunal set up in the Palace summarily sentenced hundreds of Communard fighters and supporters to be shot in the Luxembourg Garden at the back of the palace, just below the statues of French queens.

On July 3 1880 Victor Hugo finally got the amnesty for the Communards through the Senate, based at the Palace more or less continuously since 1805.

After the Germans occupied Paris in 1940 they made the Palace the headquarters of the Luftwaffe, where it was visited by Hermann Goering. His Luftwaffe Field Marshal was also given a luxurious apartment there. It also served as an administrative centre covering prisoners of war.

The Palace was one of the last bastions of German opposition at Liberation in August 1944. Its soldiers only finally surrendered on August 25 to the resistance fighters led by Colonel Fabien, when they were faced with 5 tanks detached by General Leclerc and the threat of air strikes.