Boulevard Beaumarchais in Paris connects the Place de la Bastille to Boulevard des Filles-du-Calvaire. It is part of the Grands Boulevards which were created on the site of the enclosure of Charles V, built from 1356 to 1383, and destroyed under Louis XIV around 1670.
The road is named after poet and playwright Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799), whose stately home located at no. 2, on the corner of Boulevard Richard-Lenoir and the Place de la Bastille, was knocked down in 1825 to give way to the Canal Saint-Martin. Its garden was then turned into a salt store.
His home is long gone but Beaumarchais’ legacy lives on, not just through his mighty pen, which gave us The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, later adapted into operas by Mozart and Rossini, but also in his staunch support for nascent ideas. Beaumarchais lobbied officials and oversaw secret aid from the French and Spanish governments to supply arms and money to American rebels during the War of Independence. He was also instrumental in the publication and preservation of Voltaire’s works, which were banned in France and may have otherwise been forever lost.
Lead photo credit : Boulevard Beaumarchais © Ralf.treinen - WikiCommons
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