The Place De La Bastille In Paris
If you want to find a symbol of the French Revolution, that’s the place where this movement that would change the course of history originated: Place de la Bastille.
It is built on what used to be the Bastille fortress, a high wall that prevented enemy armies from entering Paris. Later it had other uses, until its demolition. Currently nothing remains of that fortress, except for a few redoubts that can help us guess its existence.
In the Place de la Bastille you can find a piece of history and, at the same time, enjoy interesting buildings. Be sure to visit it when you pass through Paris.
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Brief history of the Place de la Bastille
The Bastille fortress was built in 1789 to defend the city from the advancing enemy. For a long time it was used for this purpose and also as a prison to hold the rebels against the mandate of King Charles X. Among these characters were Voltaire, Fouquet and Sade, among many others.
When the first outbreak of the French Revolution took place, this site acquired great importance. It came to be used as a place where the enemies of the French people were taken and executed in full view of everyone. The taking of the Bastille was, in fact, the fundamental historical event in French history and of this building, which gave rise to this famous revolution. It consisted of an assault to seize the building by force and took place on July 14, 1789 under the command of Richelieu. This event led to the destruction of the fortress, as a gesture of liberation, which would henceforth be remembered every July 14 as the day of the national holiday.
From that first assault onwards, the Place de la Bastille would become a symbolic monument in which demonstrations and all kinds of meetings of a political and social nature would take place.
What to see in the place de la bastille?
Among the things you can see in this square is the July Column, which consists of a tall column inscribed with the names of the victims of the July revolution of 1830. It was built between 1833 and 1840 and is one of the symbols of the square. It is crowned by a work by Auguste Dumont called “the Genius of Liberty”, which you should not miss.
You can also take the opportunity to visit the Bastille Opera, a very peculiar modern building that is located just in front of the square. What will most attract your attention is the design of its façade: it is completely made of glass.
You must be very observant, because on the asphalt of the square you will be able to observe the perimeter of the extensive fortress on which the square was built. This, which at first glance may not attract the attention of tourists, is nevertheless a beautiful detail of how the buildings preserve the best kept secrets of history in their foundations. We also recommend you go to the Bastille Metro station, where you can see the foundations of what was the old prison.
Around the square you can enjoy a delicious coffee, in some of the many picturesque places that are there.
Place de la Bastille is located in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, about eight minutes from the banks of the Seine.