The Last Kings: Paris, the Bourbons, and the Revolution

3h English, French

For just over 200 years the Bourbon kings ruled France with unparalleled power and grandeur. In the first years of the French Revolution it had seemed that a reformed monarchy might even survive the upheaval. Yet in September 1792, King Louis XVI was deposed and a republic declared. Months later, the 38 year old monarch was guillotined and a gathering reign of terror swept the country. Join us as we explore the eventful and tragic relationship between Paris and the Bourbons, visit some of the city’s most historic locations, and follow in Louis XVI’s footsteps towards a fate that shook the nation and the world.

What you'll discover

  • Learn about how Bourbons rose to power in France
  • Explore the charged history between Paris and the monarchy
  • Hear tales of intrigue - deception and betrayal in the royal court
  • Visit some of the most beautiful sights in the city and learn their historic significance
  • Follow the fortunes of the French Bourbon kings from absolutism to execution
  • Enter a world of kings

When one thinks of French history, the words ‘guillotine’ and ‘Marie-Antoinette’ might spring readily to mind. But just a century before the French Revolution took place, the country was in the firm grip of a man who symbolized absolute monarchy: the Sun-King, Louis XIV. How did France proceed from having an all-powerful ruler to experiencing a revolt that would resonate around the world? In this walk, we’ll pursue those questions - and more - in some of the locations most closely connected with the Bourbon’s tumultuous reign. We’ll seek to understand how the family first came to power, and why controlling Paris was essential to their aims. And we’ll uncover the events that led to Louis XIV establishing a new palace where he could feel more secure, the Palace of Versailles. Finally we’ll trace the beginnings of the popular and political discontent that would one day overwhelm the established order, and bring Louis XVI to meet his grim destiny on the Place de la Concorde. Along the way, we’ll hear tales of assassins, conspiracies, astrology, predictions, betrayals and revenge. And we’ll admire two of the most beautiful palaces ever built: the Luxembourg Palace and the Louvre, as well as darting down little-known streets where major events took place. Immerse yourself in the history of a family that incarnated divine order and prestige, and see how the city that lent them power also helped bring about their ruin.

Meet here

The meeting point is in front of the church Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois.

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Handpicked city experts for memorable adventures.

Meet your Stroller

Lucien

After graduating from the Sorbonne University in 2014 with a Masters Degree in French History, I naturally gravitated towards a job that allowed me to share my passion for French History & culture. I'm lucky to say that has been my occupation for the past five years. Join me as we uncover together what makes Paris one of the most celebrated and unique cities in the world!

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€43 per person (6 people)