Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Storming of the Bastille

This year is the 222 year anniversary celebration of France's national Holiday- Bastille Day. In 1789 a mob of Parisians stormed a medieval fortress-jail in the middle of the city in search of gunpowder and that was the beginning of the French Revolution. This prison was however more a symbol of the absolute power of the Royalty than the awful prison it was made out to be. At the time of the storming it was nearly empty housing only seven old men, four forgers, two mentally ill residents and a gambling aristocrat. The fortress was destroyed bit by bit on July 15 and its stones carted away and sold as souvenirs and for building material. In fact, Paris Pont de la Concorde was built with stones from the Bastille. Le Marquis de Lafayette sent one of the keys of the Bastille to General Washington and today it is now on exhibit at the museum in Mont Vernon. Today you can view a bit of remains of the Bastille in the Metro Station Bastille (line 5).

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