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Built between 1671 and 1672 to plans by L. Le Vau (1612-1670) to house the King’s horses, these stables became the Queen’s in 1682 when the vast stables situated in the Place d’Armes were brought into service.
They were used for the horses of Marie Leszczynska and then of Marie-Antoinette right up to the Revolution. They were then converted into a prison and were the scene of the massacre of 13 prisoners on 9 September 1792.
Next they became a barracks and since 1968 they have belonged to the Ministry of Justice. The fine gate of No. 12 Rue Carnot is all that remains of a mansion that was refurbished by the architect F. J. Bélanger (1745-1818) for the Count d’Artois in 1773. He himself was only a tenant and used it to accommodate his guards.
The buildings subsequently underwent considerable transformation. No. 1 Rue Carnot (today a school) was once the mansion of the Noailles, governors of Versailles, a family to which the Marquis de Lafayette belonged by marriage.
It is there that, having been appointed commander of the National Guard, he stayed for the evening of 5 October 1789, while the mob that had come down from Paris was ready to invade the Palace and take the Royal Family back to the capital.