|Place de la Bastille|
"In that open and deserted corner of the Square, the broad front of the colossus, his trunk, his tusks, his size, his enormous rump, his four feet like columns, produced at night, under a starry sky, a startling and terrible outline. One couldn’t tell what it meant. It was a sort of symbol of the force of the people. It was gloomy, enigmatic, and immense. It was a mysterious and mighty phantom, visible standing by the side of the invisible specter of the Bastille."
In one of the most touching scenes in the novel, the resourceful street urchin Gavroche takes two little lost boys he finds wandering on Rue Saint-Antoine into the comfy nest he has built for himself in the belly of the beast, protected from the rats infesting the structure by a cage made of copper mesh appropriated from the Jardin des Plantes. The little boys are the brothers Gavroche did not know he had.