ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the Chénier Garden, Carcassonne, France: varieties of Royalism and nuanced commemoration in France

Updated on September 11, 2014
Flag of France
Flag of France | Source
 André Chenier Garden, Carcassonne, Aude, France
André Chenier Garden, Carcassonne, Aude, France | Source
André Chénier, by Joseph-Benoît Suvée
André Chénier, by Joseph-Benoît Suvée | Source
King Louis XVIII, 1814, engraving by Jean-Baptiste Chometon (1789 – after 1831)
King Louis XVIII, 1814, engraving by Jean-Baptiste Chometon (1789 – after 1831) | Source

In favour, out of favour

This Garden in Carcassonne, France, is named for André Chénier (1762-1794), an 18th century poet. Interestingly, the Garden has a 19th century pillar which commemorates the restoration of King Louis XVIII and the exile of Napoleon I.

The André Chénier Garden — in effect, a public square — with its various deciduous trees, is a popular green area near the Downtown of the Lower City (French: Ville-Basse) for concerts, sporting events and markets. Man-made features at the Garden include an ornamental fountain, a pillar (see also, below) and various statues (1). A section of the Canal du Midi also lies nearby.

At various times, both Chénier and Louis VIII have been successively in and out of official favour. André Chénier was a much-travelled poet, who spent some of his youth in Carcassonne. He was also supportive of the French Revolution.

So Chénier fell foul of the Royalists, then?

Actually, no; he himself was a Royalist; for the first few years after the French Revolution of 1789, France was a constitutional monarchy. Only later was the French Republic proclaimed, after which King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette were eventually beheaded.

As was André Chénier, in fact. In the eyes of the more radical Republican Revolutionaries — particularly Maximilien Robespierre — Chénier had made the mistake of using his verbal skills in the defence of the imprisoned Louis XVI. Chénier was thus sent to the guillotine in 1794 by Robespierre (who himself fell out of favour and met the same fate a short time later).

So Chénier was a Royalist and a Revolutionary in the sense that he stood for a constitutional monarchy, but, in the eyes of the radical Republicans, he was the 'wrong sort' of Revolutionary.

Louis XVIII (1755-1824) reigned briefly 1814-15 and then again 1815-1824. After the departure of Napoleon I (which event is commemorated by a pillar in the Chénier Garden), Louis XVIII headed a restored monarchy after years of blood-letting.


So King Louis XVIII, who reigned after the French Revolution, was thus a more liberal monarch than those under the Ancien régime?

Well, marginally so, maybe, but not really. In fact, the monarchy under Louis XVIII and especially his successor Charles X, who reigned 1824-30, was subsequently regarded as rather reactionary. And while it is true that Louis XVIII and Charles X reigned after the French Revolution of 1789, yet it may be said that they reigned before other French Revolutions still to come. In 1830, Charles X was overthrown by another Revolution and replaced by Louis-Philippe, who reigned as a more liberal, constitutional monarch until he himself was overthrown in 1848 by Republican Revolutionaries.

Thus, in the eyes of liberal, constitutional monarchists and Republicans (not to speak of Bonapartists), the reputation of Louis XVIII soon fell out of favour.

However, after all the blood-letting of successive Revolutions, the reputation of poet André Chénier came into favour again.

France has quite a tradition of renaming streets and public spaces. This is maybe not surprising giving the successive introductions of many constitutions (2). In the case of this feature in Carcassonne, one is almost tempted to think that, locally, the real constants are its lush vegetation and its predictably warm climate.

The André Chénier Garder - Jardin André-Chénier - is situated at Boulevard Omer-Sarraut, Carcassonne, in France's Aude department in the Languedoc-Roussillon Region.

March 15, 2014

Notes

(1) See also: (in French) http://www.petitfute.com/adresse/etablissement/id/247662/square-andre-chenier-visites-points-d-interet-parc-jardin-carcassonne

(2) Since the late 18th century, France has had an absolute monarchy, followed by a constitutional monarchy, followed by a republic, followed by an empire, followed by a conservative monarchy, followed by a constitutional monarchy, followed by a republic, followed by an empire, followed by a republic, followed by a fascist state, followed by a republic, followed by another republic (sometimes described by observers as a republican system evidencing strong elements of Napoleonic rule by decree).


Map location of Aude department, France
Map location of Aude department, France | Source

Also worth seeing

In Carcassonne itself, there are many visitor attractions, including the citadel fortifications by Viollet-le-Duc, but also a Medieval Cathedral and the Medieval Basilica of Saint-Nazaire and Saint-Celse, and the Fine Art Museum (French: Musée des Beaux-Arts).

...

How to get there: United Airlines flies from New York Newark to Paris (Aéroport Paris-Charles de Gaulle), where car rental is available; there are also domestic air services between Paris and Carcassonne Airport (Aéroport de Carcassonne-Salvaza), where car rental is also available. The French national railroad company SNCF maintains services between Paris and Carcassonne (Paris-Carcassonne distance: 768 kilometres). Some services may be wirhdrawn, without notice. You are advised to contact the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. It is advisable to contact appropriate consular sources for border crossing visa requirements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada


André Chenier Garden, Carcassonne, Aude, France
André Chenier Garden, Carcassonne, Aude, France | Source

For your visit, these items may be of interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)