Boulevard du Temple

Boulevard du Temple
Length 405 m (1,329 ft)
Width 36.5 m (120 ft)
Arrondissement 3rd, 11th
Quarter Folie-Méricourt Enfants-Rouges
From Place de la République
To Place Pasdeloup
Completion 1656
Denomination Temple

The Boulevard du Temple, formerly nicknamed the "Boulevard du Crime", is a thoroughfare in Paris that separates the 3rd arrondissement from the 11th. It runs from the Place de la République to the Place Pasdeloup, and its name refers to the nearby Knights Templars' Temple where they established their Paris priory.


The earliest photograph of the Boulevard du Temple is by Louis Daguerre (1838)

The Boulevard du Temple follows the path of the city wall constructed by Charles V (the so-called Enceinte, constructed between 1356 and 1383) and demolished under Louis XIV. The boulevard, lined with trees, was built between 1656 and 1705.

From the time of Louis XVI (1774–1792) until the July Monarchy in 1830, the Boulevard du Temple was popular and fashionable. It was a place for walking and recreation. Cafés and theatres previously located at the Saint-Laurent and Saint-Germain fairs moved here. After a time, it was nicknamed the Boulevard du Crime after the crime melodramas that were so popular in its many theatres. In 1782, Philippe Curtius, Madame Tussaud's tutor in wax modelling, opened his second exhibition on this Boulevard.

On this boulevard, on 28 July 1835, Giuseppe Fieschi made an attempt on the life of the king, Louis-Philippe. The attempt failed, but it resulted in 18 dead and 23 injured. Gustave Flaubert spent several months each winter at 42, boulevard du Temple from 1856 to 1869.

A photograph of this street was taken in 1838 by Louis Daguerre from high in his 350-seat Diorama Building at 4, Rue Sanson, where it intersected with the Rue des Marais, and which from the rear looked out roughly southwards over the rooftops towards Boulevard du Temple (since demolished, the place where it stood is at the south side of Rue Léon Jouhaux just off the north corner of Place de la République).[1] The image is one of the earlier Daguerreotypes (invented 1837), and it is thus believed to be the earliest surviving photograph showing a person.[2]

The transformations of Paris by Baron Haussmann radically modified this part of Le Marais; today, only the Théâtre Déjazet remains of the late 18th century theatres; half of them were demolished for the enlargement of the Place de la République.

Theatres of the boulevard du Temple

The theatres of the boulevard du Temple (ca. 1862)[3]

The history of the names of the theatres at various sites on the boulevard du Temple is summarized in the following list. Unless otherwise noted the names and dates are from Lecomte,[4] and the street addresses are based on the 1861 Paris guide of Lehaguez.[5]

Metro stations

The Boulevard du Temple is:

Located near the Métro station: République.

It is also

Located near the Métro station: Filles du Calvaire.

It is served by lines 3, 5, 8, 9, and 11.


  1. R. Derek Wood ‘Daguerre and his Diorama in the 1830s: some financial announcements’, in Photoresearcher, [Journal of the European Society for the History of Photography, Croydon], March 1997, Issue Nr 6 (‘1994/95/96’), pp. 35-40
  2. Newhall, Beaumont (1949), The history of photography from 1839 to the present day, Museum of Modern Art, p. 16, retrieved 26 April 2016
  3. Theatre names are from Galignani's New Paris Guide for 1862. See pp. 467, 469–471, at Google Books.
  4. Lecomte 1905.
  5. Street addresses are based on Lehaguez 1861. The street addresses of the various sites at earlier times may have differed from those in 1861. For example, Planta 1821, p. 159, gives the street address of the Théâtre de la Gaîté as 68 boulevard du Temple (instead of 58), and that of the site of the first Théâtre de l'Ambigu-Comique as 74 (instead of 62).
  6. Goncourt and Goncourt 2005, p. 577, see also Lehaguez 1861, p. 24.
  7. Colette 1983, p. 79.
  8. 1 2 3 Lehaguez 1861, p. 25.
  9. Madame Saqui established her theatre in 1812 in a different location on the boulevard du Temple, but received permission to move into the Café d'Apollon on 12 December 1816 (McCormick 1993, p. 35).
  10. According to Lecomte 1907 (pp. 38, 54) Dorsay acquired Madame Saqui's theatre in 1830, but McCormick 1993, p. 37, gives the date as 1832.
  11. Although McCormick 1993, p. 42, does not give the exact street address, he states: "In 1815 the old Lazzari theatre was rebuilt on a site adjacent to the original one." The 1815 theatre was located at number 50. In 1779, when the old Lazzari was built, the other adjacent site, number 52, was already occupied by the Théâtre des Associés, which in 1815 had become the theatre of Madame Saqui.
  12. Brazier 1838, p. 65.
  13. Hemmings 1994, p. 122.
  14. Lust 2002, p. 48.
  15. Chauveau 1999, pp. 451–454.
  16. Lehaguez 1861, p. 24.
  17. Lehaguez 1861, p. 22.
  18. Lehaguez 1861, p. 26.
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Coordinates: 48°51′47.84″N 2°21′59.43″E / 48.8632889°N 2.3665083°E / 48.8632889; 2.3665083

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