Rue Pascal

Arrondissements 5, 13

Numbers: 1/2, 17, 54, 81

View of Rue Pascal from the Boulevard du Pont Royal c1910

The road was built in 1825 along the course of one of the arms of the Bièvre River on the site of the former Cordeliers convent that was nationalised in the French Revolution and sold to tanning works 1796. The road was named after the 17th century philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal who had lived nearby and who invented the first calculating machine.

The river bed on which it was built was crossed by the Boulevard de Port-Royal in 1866 (a view from the bridge is shown above in and the stream finally covered over in 1905.

Louis-Philippe’s prime minister, François Guizot, banned a democratic reform banquet scheduled for January 13 1848 to take place at what is now No. 54, in the Lourcine-Pascal Hospital, a cholera refuge from 1838 (since 1905 the Broca Hospital) on the site of the former Cordelières Abbey. That meeting was postponed to February 22 to take place in the Champs-Élysées. It is the banning of that meeting that sparked the 1848 February Revolution.

On June 23 1848 violent fighting took place at a barricade between Nos. 1 and 2 and only finished with the defeat of the workers protesting the closure of the National Workshops the following day.

In March 1871 Jean Allemane and other Communards established the 5th arrondissement’s Watch Committee (Comité de vigilance), meeting at No. 17.

In 1902 No. 81 became the Russian Revolutionary Socialist Party‘s library in Paris.