Notre-Dame de Paris

By Victor Hugo ; Alban Krailsheimer | Go to book overview
Save to active project


WE have just said that Quasimodo disappeared from Notre-Dame on the day of the gypsy's and the archdeacon's deaths. He was in fact never seen again, and no one knew what had become of him.

During the night following la Esmeralda's execution, the executioner's men had taken down her body from the gibbet and carried it, according to custom, into the cellar at Montfaucon.

Montfaucon was, as Sauval says, 'the most ancient and superb gibbet in the kingdom'. Between the suburbs of the Temple and Saint-Martin, about 160 toises from the walls of Paris, a few crossbow shots from la Courtille, could be seen on the top of a gentle, imperceptible eminence, high enough to be visible for several leagues around, a strangely shaped structure, somewhat resembling a Celtic cromlech, and where human sacrifices were also made.

Imagine, then, crowning a mound of plaster, a huge parallelepiped of masonry, 15 feet high, 30 feet wide, 40 feet long, with a door, an outside ramp and a platform: on this platform stand sixteen enormous pillars of rough stone, 30 feet high, arranged in a colonnade round three of the four sides of the massive structure supporting them, connected at the top by stout beams from which chains hang at intervals; on all these chains, skeletons; nearby on the plain, a stone cross and two secondary gibbets, which seem to be growing like shoots around the central fork; above it all, in the sky, crows perpetually circle. That is Montfaucon.

At the end of the fifteenth century the formidable gibbet, which dated from 1328, was already very dilapidated. The beams were worm-eaten, the chains rusty, the pillars green with mould. The courses of dressed stone were all cracked at their joins, and grass grew on the platform where feet never trod. This monument presented a horrible profile,


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Notre-Dame de Paris
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 561

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?