Except it isn’t all that ‘normal’. It looks pretty unassuming, to the untrained eye. But seldom do people look down and really wonder what it is they’re looking at (unless they’ve stepped in dog mess). Five indentations mark the tarmac on the Rue de la Roquette, just in front of a crosswalk. What could they be? The site of some car crash, or just where a particularly heavy lorry passed over? Why should anyone care anyway?
These indentations mark the spot where the Paris guillotine stood within the long gone Prison de la Roquette. This death machine was employed in the public beheading of 69 convicts between 1851 and the closing of the prison in 1899. The markings on the road once housed the support stones on which ‘Madame Guillotine’ stood. It is said that if you stand in the centre point of the five indentations for too long, you’re bound to die… mainly because you’d be randomly standing in the middle of a road.