Couronnes (Paris Métro)
The station was opened on 31 January 1903 as part of the extension of line 2 (known at the time as "2 Nord") from Anvers to Bagnolet (now called Alexandre Dumas). It is named after the Rue des Couronnes, which was named after either the local village of Les Couronnes-sous-Savies, or from a tavern called Les Trois Couronnes. It was the location of the Barrière des Trois-Couronnes, a gate built for the collection of taxation as part of the Wall of the Farmers-General; the gate was built between 1784 and 1788 and demolished during the 19th century.
The station was the site of a fire and stampede that caused the worst catastrophe in the history of the Paris Métro, killing 84 people on 10 August 1903 (earlier estimates had put the number of fatalities at over 100).
The line, less than a year old, was mostly underground, but included an elevated section four stations long from Boulevard Barbès to Rue d'Allemagne inclusive (today Barbès – Rochechouart and Jaurès respectively). It was worked by a mixture of 4-car (single) and 8-car (double) trains, which turned on loop tracks at each end of the line so that the same car remained in front. On a single train only the front car had motors; a double train had one motor car at each end, but the power for both cars was routed through the front car, as multiple-unit train control had not yet come into use.
The first sign of trouble was at 6:53 pm, when double train 43 completed the climb to Boulevard Barbès station with heavy smoke pouring from one of the motors on its front car, car M202. The train passengers were evacuated onto the platform and its shoes were lifted from the third rail to cut off the power, whereupon the burning subsided. But with the station full of annoyed passengers, the staff now focused their attention on restoring service. That meant moving the train, and there was no siding before the line descended back into the tunnel. And the fatal decision was made to lower the shoes and move it under its own power, when in fact the motor had not simply overheated, but had a short circuit. Train 43 left the station at 7:05 pm amid a cloud of black smoke, but before it had passed two stations, the fire on car M202 had reignited with greater intensity.