5 Strange and interesting facts about the French Revolution


1. The first public zoo –  Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes – was created in Paris during the revolution. This happened as a result of the National Assembly demands that all privately held exotic animals be donated to the menagerie or stuffed.

2. Made popular during the French revolution, the guillotine wasn’t abolished until 1981 – when France got rid of capital punishment. However it was last used in 1977.

3. In the late 18th and early 19th century French citizens ate on average two pounds of bread each day. When the price of flour skyrocketed because of Louis XVI’s financial mismanagement, a loaf cost as much as a peasant would earn in a month.

4. The Tennis Court Oath was one of the first acts of defiance of the French Revolution. Commoners gathered on a tennis court on 20 June 1789 to protest being locked out of a meeting of the Estates General.

5. Libelle pamphlets were distributed in the years leading up to, and during, the French Revolution. These were mocking, erotic sketches which slandered the monarchy and Marie Antoinette especially.