Between the Canal Saint Martin and the Buttes-Chaumont, astride the 10th and 19th arrondissements of Paris, the Place du Colonel Fabien is nowadays a place rather ordinary, where only the head office of the French Communist Party, a huge contemporary architecture building, attracts the eye of the curious walker.
A place whose history is however far from trivial. Sordid and morbid events, it was for centuries a place for hanging, and later for animals fighting…
Gibet de Montfaucon (Montfaucon Gibbet)
Located just few steps from the Place du Colonel Fabien, at the level of the Rue de la Grange aux Belles, the Montfaucon Gibbet was erected during St. Louis reign. Placed on the top of a small hill a few hundred meters from the Paris’ walls, thousands of people were hanged there until 1630.
Symbol of royal justice, this spectacular gallows was used to hang criminals, exhibited for dissuasion.
Place du Combat (Battle Square)
From 1778 to 1945, Place du Colonel Fabien was called “Place du Combat” (Battle Square). This wasteland welcomed an arena in which the Parisian organized animal fights between wild and domestic animals, where dogs could fight bulls, pigs, bears or wild boars.
The prohibition of the fightings took place in 1883.
Place du Colonel Fabien
The name of Place du Colonel Fabien was given in 1945, after the name of Pierre Georges, a French communist and resistant fighter.
A place symbolized since 1971 by the building of the French Communist Party, made by Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer, emblematic figure of modern architecture, who donated the building to the PCF.
PCF also the acronym Place of Colonel Fabien …