The Colonne de Juillet, built in 1835 in memory of the victims of the 1830 July Revolution, was closed off to visitors back in 1985 due to security concerns.
The fact that it stands in the middle of one of Paris’s busiest roundabouts meant accessing the monument was particularly hazardous.
Unless, that it is, there’s a protest or the Socialist party wins the presidential election. Then it is swarmed with crowds.
But the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, plans to pedestrianize part of the Place de la Bastille in her bid to give seven of Paris’s most famous squares a makeover.
As a result, the Centre des Monuments Nationaux plan to restore and reopen the monument to the public. The restoration to correct some “major flaws” will begin in September this year, but it will take a while, with the planned reopening not scheduled until 2018.
The budget for the restoration has been set at €3.1 million.
The Colonne de Juillet actually houses two large tombs which contain the remains of between 500 and 700 revolutionaries who died in the uprisings of 1830 and 1848.
The column contains 200 steps which lead to a little balcony at the top of the monument, which offers stunning views over Paris. But sadly it won’t be possible to restore the steps to an adequate safety standard, meaning the public won’t be able to take advantage.
Nevertheless, the restoration will allow visitors to Paris to re-discover a little-known chapter of the city’s history.