- Built in 1629 for Cardinal de Richelieu, this palace was initially known as the Palais Cardinal. Later it acquired a reputation as a place of debauchery under Louis XIV's brother, Philippe d'Orléans, while in the 18th century it became a meeting place where the Age of Enlightenment's great thinkers could exchange ideas. Meanwhile prostitutes and shady merchants touted for business in the arcades surrounding its garden, which was to witness the first stirrings of revolutionary passion. On the evening of 13th July 1789 (the night before the storming of the Bastille), revolutionary Camille Desmoulins chose the much frequented Palais arches as the spot in which to urge the crowd to rebellion: one of the greatest moments in history! Nowadays, its gardens are a delightful, peaceful place and its buildings (closed to the public) house the Ministry for the Arts and the Council of State.
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