Of all the monumental events in the French Revolution, none is more iconic than the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14, 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 Régime 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 now celebrated as Bastille Day in France - a national public holiday.
Photographer: Jean-Pierre Louis Laurent Houël
Location taken: Paris, France
- 1789-07-14 Bastille Day - the French Revolution begins with the storming of the Bastille Prison in Paris (now celebrated as France's national day)