Every year on July 14th, France commemorates Bastille Day, or French National Day. It is a day to commemorate and celebrate the start of the French Revolution, which began in 1789 with the storming of the Bastille in Paris, which served as a fortress and jail for French royalty. Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI escaped after the storming of the Bastille, leaving the Bastille to be pillaged and burnt. The Bastille was constructed around 1370 to aid in the defense of Paris during the Hundred Years War.
The word bastille comes from the French word bastide, which means fortress.
The Bastille was established in 1417 as a jail for anyone who defied France’s kings.
The English had control of the Bastille from 1420 to 1436.
When King Louis XVI learnt of the attack on the Bastille, he inquired, “Is it a revolt?” “No, sire, it is a revolution,” he was told.
The crowd that stormed the Bastille also stole all the weaponry they could locate to employ in the monarchy’s revolution.
Many nobles were executed in France following the storming of the Bastille and prior to the founding of the French Republic in 1792, known as ‘The Reign of Terror.’
Despite the fact that the Bastille could accommodate 50 people, when it was attacked, only seven people were inside, including one deviant aristocrat, two lunatics, and four forgers.
Less than 100 years after the storming of the Bastille, Bastille Day became a national holiday in France in 1880.
The French observe Bastille Day to commemorate the storming of the Bastille, which marked the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the modern republic.
The Bastille Day Military Parade is held on the Champs Elysees in Paris to commemorate Bastille Day. For the yearly procession, the Champs-Elysees are draped in flags.
Following the Bastille Day Military Parade, the French President customarily delivers a speech. This is the oldest military parade in Europe.
The Bastille Day Military Parade comes to a close at the Arc de Triomphe, a massive monument dedicated to soldiers who perished fighting for France during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.
The majority of French communities begin their Bastille Day celebrations with a Mayoral speech. This is frequently followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at a war memorial.
The celebration of Bastille Day is not limited to France. A Bastille Day celebration is also held in various places of the United States, such as Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Milwaukee’s celebration lasts four days, and they even have a 43-foot-tall replica of the Eiffel Tower.
Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, India, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States all commemorate Bastille Day.
Voltaire, the famed writer and philosopher, was once a Bastille prisoner.
There are fireworks, dances, music, food, and street celebrations in Paris and throughout the country in addition to the Bastille Day Military Parade.