Sunday, November 2, 2008

History of the Rue du Croissant

How's this for coincidence... or is it a sign of some sort??? Not sure, but I find it quite interesting that I should come all the way across the ocean to this large city and of all the places I could have found to stay, the apartment I have rented to live in is in the heart of what was once Paris' historic newspaper district dating back all the way to the French Revolution and having historical significance relating to the press all the way through the asassination that took place there on the eve of WWI...

From a few Web sites I found:

"Home to the free press of Paris... by 1840 this had become a working-class neighbourhood in the heart of the capital, dominated by the teeming bustle and din of the press industry, which had first settled here during the Revolution, when Père Duchesse published a lewd, anarchical paper on rue de Damiette. It was in the tiny area enclosed by rues Saint-Joseph, du Croissant and des Jeûneurs that the political destiny of France was largely determined."

"Rue du Croissant (seventeenth century) is a street of ancient houses and the chief newspaper street of the city. Paper hawkers crowd there at certain hours each day, then rush away, vying with one another to call attention to their stock-in-trade. At No. 22, Café du Croissant, at the corner where this street meets the Rue Montmartre, journalists assemble, and there the notable Socialist, Jaurès, was shot dead on the eve of the outbreak of war, July 31st, 1914. The sign at No. 18 is said to date from 1612."

"The next door la Chope du Croissant, on the corner of rue du Croissant, was one of the papermen's hang-outs. On 31 July 1914, at 9:30pm, Jean Jaurès was having an animated dinner there with fellow journalists from his paper l'Humanité, when Raoul Villain shot at him twice through the window for having opposed the breakout of World War I.

"It was Jean Jaurès, who on April 18 1904, signing the first issue of the journal. His first address is 110, rue Richelieu, in the Second district of Paris. The place is occupied by the newspaper until 1909, when the writing moves at 16 Rue du Croissant (this is my exact building!!!). On the pediment of the building, you can read "Printing Press". This is the address of humanity between 1909 and 1915."

"Ironically Jaurès became the war's first victim, whilst his assassin benefited from the 'confusion of the time', in other words, from the prevailing nationalist hysteria, and was acquitted. The café's name has since been shortened to le Croissant, but Jaurès' table is still there, with the victim's blood stain that never came off. There is also a copy of the next morning front page of l'Humanité announcing the death of Jaurès along with cuttings from other papers."

"Sale of evening papers in the Rue du Croissant"
Illustration from 'La Petite Gironde, 1899.

Click here to view all of today's photos (11/02/08)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Searching for this for some time now - i guess luck is more advanced than search engines