Paris under the Commune eBook

John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 389 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.

The ARCHIVES (Record Office), the IMPRIMERIE NATIONALE, and the BIBLIOTHEQUE MAZARINE were all preserved through the strenuous endeavours of MM.  Alfred Maury, Haureau, and Charles Asselineau, who had all managed to keep their places in spite of the Commune.

At the DOCKS OF LA VILLETTE, and at the warehouses of the DOUANE, the destruction of property has been enormous.  Many millions’ worth of goods were consumed there.

In the great buildings belonging to the MAGASINS REUNIS (Cooperative Stores) an ambulance had been established, and this was in the utmost danger during two days.  It was only owing to the wonderful energy of M. Jahyer that the fire was mastered while the poor wounded men were transported to a place of safety.

THE CHURCHES.

NOTRE-DAME.—­In the interior of Notre-Dame the insurgents set fire to three huge piles of chairs and wood-work.  Fortunately the fact was discovered before much mischief had happened.

THE SAINTE-CHAPELLE.—­This incomparable gem of Gothic art, by some marvellous good fortune was neither touched by fire nor shells.  It will still be an object for the pilgrimages of the erudite and the curious.

THE MADELEINE.—­The balls have somewhat damaged the double colonnade of the peristyle, but the sculptured pediment by Lemaire is all but untouched.

THE TRINITE.—­The facade has been seriously injured.  The Federals, from their barricades at the entrance of the Chaussee-d’Antin, bombarded it for several hours.  The painted windows by Ondinot had been removed before the siege—­like those of the ancient Cathedral of St. Denis, and the Chapel of St. Ferdinand, by Ingres, they repose in safety.

Of all the churches of Paris ST. EUSTACHE has suffered the most.  At one time the fire had reached the roof, but it was fortunately discovered in time.

The paintings at NOTRE-DAME-DE-LORETTE, at SAINT-GERMAIN-L’AUXERROIS, and at SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRES have been spared.

It is curious that the churches suffered so little, whilst several theatres were burned, including the Porte St. Martin, Theatre du Chatelet, Lyrique, Delassements Comiques, etc.

The windows of the church of SAINT-JACQUES-DU-HAUT-PAS are destroyed.

It has been estimated that the value of the houses and other property destroyed in Paris amounts to twenty millions sterling.  In addition to this, it is said that twelve millions’ worth of works of art, furniture, &c., have disappeared, and that more than two and a half millions’ worth of merchandise was burnt, making a total of nearly thirty-five millions.  It has been said that the value of the window-glass alone destroyed during the reign of the Commune approaches a million sterling.  The demand for glass was at one time so great that the supply was quite insufficient, and at the present moment the price is 20 per cent. higher than usual.

XV.

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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