© Wagon Landscaping/City of Paris

New York has its September 11 memorial, at the foot of Manhattan. Paris will have its November 13 memorial, in the Marais, just behind the City Hall, on the square in front of the Saint-Gervais church. Already, access to rue François-Miron has been blocked for buses and motorists. We will only pass there on foot.

Bus 96 has already changed its route by making a detour, which now passes through the quays and rue du Pont-Louis-Philippe before returning to rue François Miron and turning right towards Saint-Paul.

Place Saint-Gervais, © Axel G

Of stone and water, the New York monument is frankly mineral; the Parisian garden of remembrance, in memory of the victims of Islamist madness, will be more vegetal.

The garden of November 13, 2015 will consist of six garden plots symbolizing the places where the events of the disastrous day took place: the Bataclan, the Belle team, the Bonne Bière, the Casa Nostra, the Comptoir Voltaire, the Stade de France .

Blocks of stone emerging from the ground, of irregular height, will represent the violence of the events. In addition, six steles, corresponding to the places attacked, will bear the engraved names of the victims. In front of each of them, a granite bench will allow you to reflect.

The plan for the Place Saint-Gervais memorial garden project, © Wagon Landscaping / City of Paris

The garden is also organized around two trees steeped in history: the Saint-Gervais elm, near which justice was administered in the Middle Ages, and the newly planted Peace olive tree. These two trees correspond to two commemoration spaces: the first, facing the rear facade of the Town Hall, will accommodate a large-scale commemoration; the second facing the church will be reserved for more intimate ceremonies.

Delivery of the garden is scheduled for spring 2024.

The elm of Saint-Gervais, © Jean-Pierre Viguié/City of Paris

Creating a memorial space, wherever it is in the world, always represents a challenge. Because a memorial only achieves its goal if it manages to arouse emotion. This is the starting point for any re-emergence of a memory. If he does not succeed, the work is a failure.

Manhattan’s “9/11 Memorial” undeniably manages to move visitors. The Holocaust memorial in Berlin, near the Brandenburg Gate, is more problematic in that it has become a playground for selfies. We can bet that the memorial to the November 13 attacks will fulfill its mission.

Photomontage of the memorial garden project, © Wagon Landscaping / City of Paris

Text: Axel G


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