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Free Exposition “The Commune: Paris Insurrection 1871”

Il y a 140 ans, la Commune…the City of Paris commemorates the 140th anniversary of one of the bloodiest civil wars in French history with a free exposition In the Heart of the Paris Commune at the Hôtel de Ville through May 28.

There are over 200 photographs, engravings and documents describing how the events of this rebellious Communist uprising (or people’s revolution, depending on your point of view) resulted in the death of over 20,000 Parisians and the destruction of a large part of the city’s monuments, including the original Hôtel de Ville, during what’s known as “The Bloody Week”.

Like every exposition at the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), the brochure and text are only in French. Yet the Paris Commune is one of the most important events in Parisian history, and it’s rarely described in English guidebooks. So we’ve decided to provide an English translation of the exposition’s text for those of you who might find it hard to follow in French.

Just click here to download the four page PDF (133k): The Paris Commune in English

To download the original French version, you can click here (397k): Il y a 140 ans, La Commune

Practical Info
March 18th to May 28th 2011
Entrance at 29 rue de Rivoli, 4th
Open every day except Sunday and holidays from 10am-7pm.
Free entry. Get there early to avoid waiting in line.


Exposition “La Commune – 1871, Paris capitale… par mairiedeparis


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  • Hello there,Too bad I've missed the exhibition… Is there any chance it'll be on display sometime at the end of July or at the beginning of August?Best,Dominique

  • The Paris Commune isn't very well known among foreigners, and you are are absolutely right Heather it's worth to visit the exhibition !Your english translation of the French text is a very good idea ! I hope most of your visiitors would understand a bit more of this tragic part of our history.Pascale

  • Bonjour Heather:I went to this the first week it opened – and it remains the best – most interesting exhibit I've seen since being here. BTW – I've been here two months studying French and am writing a blog – in French (to help me learn). Give it a peek some day. ciao,Michaeljetedispas.weebly.com