Rue Soufflot

Arrondissement 5

Numbers: 1-2, 11

One of the three barricades defending the Panthéon on May 24 1871 was across the neck of the road from No. 1 to No. 2. It was here that Jean Allemane fought until the barricade was overcome. The 400 Fédérés (Communards belonging to the Paris National Guard) who were captured were then shot after the barricade battles ended.

Another brief stay for Émile Zola as the young man moved around the Latin Quarter in the early 1860s was at No. 11, where he found a room over the winter of 1861-1862.

On June 23 and June 24 1848 violent battles took place at the barricade across the road at No. 12, as the government’s troops attacked the workers who had risen up in defence of the National Workshops.

The day after the June fighting ended, on June 25 1848 a National Guard corporal called Raguinard and another fighter on the barricade across the Rue d’Ulm were summarily executed outside No. 22, then at a corner with Rue St Hyacinthe, a road that disappeared entirely in the 1860s rebuilding under Haussmann.

The painting by Horace Vernet of a barricade battle in Rue Soufflot on June 24 1848

The third barricade defending the Panthéon on May 24 1871 was across the road at No. 23, just where it joins the Boulevard St Michel – a site now occupied by a McDonald’s.

The road gets its name from the main architect of the Panthéon, Jacques-Germain Soufflot, who died shortly before then Sainte-Geneviève church was finished.

A 1790 plan shows the then Rue du Panthéon Français leading only as far as the Rue St Jacques, and how its extension involved the final demolition of the Jacobin Monastery where the revolutionaries meeting in its dining room during the French Revoltuion were given the political name Jacobins.

The first part of the road was built during the building of the Law School and the Church in the 1770s and called the Rue du Panthéon Français  in 1790.

The road was renamed Soufflot in 1807 and work begun in 1859 finally led it to be straightened and extended to its present form and name in 1876.

On the day he was invested as French President, 21 May 1981, Mitterrand walked up Rue Soufflot to the Panthéon to put roses on the tombs there of three of its 19th and 20th century residents, Jean Moulin, Victor Schoelcher and Jean Jaures.

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