Feargus O'Sullivan is a contributing writer to CityLab, covering Europe. His writing focuses on housing, gentrification and social change, infrastructure, urban policy, and national cultures. He has previously contributed to The Guardian, The Times, The Financial Times, and Next City, among other publications.
Multiple sites have reportedly been hit, including the Bataclan and the Stade de France.
Friday night’s attacks on Paris reportedly occurred at multiple sites across the city, including those shown in the map above.
Le Stade de France
Built for the 1998 World Cup, the Stade de France is France’s largest stadium, a huge venue seating more than 80,000 that dominates the Saint Denis Quarter. The location itself is just outside Paris Proper beyond the Boulevard Périphérique Beltway, in a lightly populated quarter dominated by major roads. In contrast to the other attack locations closer to central Paris, the commune of Saint Denis is a relatively low-income area where over 35 percent of residents were not born in France.
Le Bataclan is an old 19th-century variety theatre that in recent years has been run as a rock venue. It’s located on the boundary between two hip, densely populated neighborhoods full of bars, restaurants, and cafés that would likely have been very busy at the time of the attack. An eyewitness who escaped from the venue had this to say to Le Monde:
“I was at the show around 9.30, 9.40, when two or three people—two for sure—came in and started shooting blindly with automatic weapons, with a Kalashnikov … that lasted at least ten, fifteen minutes. They reloaded, they had the time they needed. They reloaded three or four times and that lasted at least 10 minutes … at one moment we took refuge behind the stage, we were blocked, and when the shots stopped we took advantage of the respite to take the emergency exit, and we saw lots of people in the street who were covered in blood, who had gunshot wounds.”
Le Carillon / Le Petit Cambodge
Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge are a café-bar and a Cambodian restaurant, respectively, that are located directly opposite one of the city’s oldest hospitals, the Hôpital Saint-Louis. These aren’t especially fancy or controversial places in themselves. They’re fairly typical of the area around the Canal Saint Martin, a traditionally working class area of Paris that has become fashionable in recent decades. A witness who arrived at Le Petit Cambodge just after the attack gave the following statement to Le Monde:
“I was on my scooter with friends when I arrived. There were people on the ground, and I thought a car had driven into the Petit Cambodge Restaurant, because the window was smashed in. I didn't understand what had happened. There were lots of people on the ground, loads… I'd say, from memory, a good 40. There were four or five people standing, no more… I didn't actually see blood. The Fire Service arrived fast, but it was very calm, that struck me. I think there were Anglo-Saxons there because one slightly dazed girl said ‘gunshot, gunshot’ to me.”
La Casa Nostra
Just around the corner from the Petit Cambodge, customers in the Casa Nostra pizzeria on the Rue de la Fontaine au Roi were fired on as they ate on the restaurant’s terrace. A witness at the scene had this to say about the attacker to The Guardian:
“He had his right leg forward and he was standing with his left leg back. He was holding up to his left shoulder a long automatic machine gun. It was fully intentional, professional bursts of three or four shots. Everything he was wearing was tight, no zippers or collars. Everything was toned black. A man in military uniform, black jumper, black trousers, black shoes or boots and a machine-gun.”
La Belle Équipe
The Belle Équipe brasserie is located on one of the busier café and restaurant strips of Eastern Paris. Rue Charonne is one of the main streets in the Bastille neighborhood, an area now almost equally as popular with visitors as with locals. The brasserie itself is a moderately upscale place typical of its area; according to this article with photos, it was set up and run by three women. Le Monde has this from a resident living nearby:
“I heard detonations and went to the window. I have a direct view of the café. I saw a man getting out of a car and firing on the terrace, by guesswork. He shot many times, in gusts. I heard cries. Then the man got back in his car and left, just like that.”