Guillotine places of interest

This is a guide to places which were important in the history of the guillotine.
It is always exciting to visit these places, knowing that the guillotine once stood right here.


Cour de Comerce st André is the place where the first guillotine was made in 1792. Tobias Schmidt was the man who made it, and it was here he had his workshop. The machine was first tested on sheep and calves.
It was also in this alley that Marat had his magazine "L'Ami du peuple" printed.

Le Kremlin-Bicêtre PARIS

It was at this place, outside of Paris, in a combined hospital and prison that in April 1792 the guillotine was tested on corpses of recently deceased patients and prisoners.
After the first test the shape of the blade was changed from ax head to the oblique type as we know it today.


The first official execution by guillotine took place on April 25th 1792.
Nicolas-Jacques Pelletier was executed on the place de Grève (now Place de l'Hôtel de ville). Sanson operated the machine in dead earnest for the first time.


The guillotine was installed at the place du Carrousel, where it stayed until May 7th 1793 with some interruptions, such as the execution of the king, which took place at Place de la Révolution (today Place de la Concorde).


Place de la Concorde (former Place de la Révolution) was one of the largest execution places in Paris during the revolution.
It was here that Louis the 16th was executed January 21th 1793. And Queen Marie Antoinette suffered the same fate October 16th same year.
At the King's execution the scaffold was erected where the Brest statue stands today, and at the Queen's execution it was erected in front of the entrance of the garden of the Tuileries.


The large amounts of blood on the executions sites caused problems with an excruciating stench. From the center of Paris, the guillotine was moved out to Barrière du Trône.1306 people were executed during the Terror at this place between June 13th and July 28th, 1794. Robespierre was one of them.

Just south of the Barrière du Trône, you find the Picpus cemetery, where some of the executed people were buried.


On the 17th of June 1939 at 04:32 Eugene Weidmann was executed outside the prison Saint Pierre rue Georges Clémenceau 5 in Versailles. The building is still there, but it is not a prison anymore. It was the last public execution in France.