Saturday The 14th, The Silent City of Paris.

by Paul Hands in


My wife (Lisa) and I sat in a restaurant just 1500 metres away from a truly frightening scenario, where three teams of radicalised gunmen set out on a rampage, shooting automatic military grade weapons at innocent civilians, who were simply sat outside a cafe, eating their dinner just like Lisa and I were doing. Bombs were being detonated at The Stade de France a few miles north of our location and hostages were taken and massacred in a nearby concert venue.

The noises were horrific and terrifying as the constant blaze of police, ambulance and military sirens shrilled through the district.  As the news of what was happening hit us and also learning that the gunmen were still on the loose and couldn't be traced or tracked easily, we didn't know whether to hide or evacuate.  The streets were almost empty with the exception of the few people that were braving evacuation.  It didn't feel safe and every movement of people or vehicles created terrifying anxiety.

Eventually, we made it back to our hotel on the western side of Paris and hopefully far away enough from the militants.  It was impossible to sleep well, knowing what had happened and not knowing if any more accomplices would spring up at any other location in the city.

The day after ISIS attacked humanity.

It was a day of emptiness, of mourning, sombre feelings and harrowing memories of the night before.  

We awoke in the morning and tested the streets.  Some Parisians were going about their lives as normal as could be hoped for but it was clear the atmosphere had changed.

People walked around the city in silence.

Beneath the Eiffel Tower was less than a quarter full of tourists, than usual.  The monument had been closed indefinitely.  Armed Police and the Military patrolled the city.

The pain designed for the people of Paris was bestowed upon the human race as a whole.

This series of pictures are based on my reaction to the aftermath of a silent city, now in mourning.

Click on the pictures to enlarge.