Bastille Day

Storming of the Bastille
Storming of the Bastille

Historical Context

Of all the monumental events in the French Revolution, none is more iconic than the storming of the Bastille prison on 14 July 1789. The Bastille was a prison and fortress, and although it only contained seven prisoners at the time it was overrun, it was a potent symbol of the Ancien Regime and its power and corruption.

When the Bastille fell the Revolution kicked into full gear and would not subside for another ten years, permanently changing the face of France and influencing politics, philosophy and society in Europe and beyond for centuries after.

July 14 is Bastille Day in France - a national public holiday.

Photo Info

Photographer: Jean-Pierre Louis Laurent Houël
Location taken: Paris, France

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  • 1789-07-14 Bastille Day - the French Revolution begins with the fall of the Bastille Prison

Historical Photos