The Bastille

The Bastille Saint-Antoine, commonly referred to as the Bastille, was a fortress in eastern Paris. Since the sixteenth century, the building was in use as a political prison; the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 was a key event in the escalation of the French Revolution. The building was destroyed during the Revolution; on its site is now the Place de la Bastille. The Bastille has featured in literary works by Alexandre Dumas (who used the “Man in the Iron Mask” legend in the d’Artagnan Romances) and Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities).


Latitude: 48.852987357889
Longitude: 2.368858871052

Timeline of Events Associated with The Bastille

Date Event Manage
14 Jul 1789 to 14 Jul 1789

Storming of the Bastille

The Storming of the Bastille, dated July 14th, 1789, created a disturbance in class shift in French society. The hierarchy on the upper half was the clergy, and then the nobility in that order; the third estate consisted of peasants and workers, whom of which built up 80% of the population. Despite making up such a large portion of the population, they were still below under the poverty line and treated as lesser humans. The significance behind the Bastille is it was not just a normal prison; it was used as a monarch-operated prison as the king could imprison anyone he felt was a danger to his rule. The main intention of the protestors was to overwhelm the guards and gain control of the weapons beings stored within. The actual storming happened within a single day, as it started with negotiations between the Third Estate and the guards of the Bastille, but quickly turned violent as peasants stormed the prison. Although this one event did not single-handedly bring down the class structure implemented into France’s society, it was quite possibly the largest event in the broader category of the Revolution of 1789. However, what the Storming of the Bastille did contribute to was the lynching of two big figures under the monarchy, Joseph Foullon De Doue (the head of finances) and Louis Bénigne François Bertier de Sauvigny (an attendant). It also inspired the population around France to create municipalities for civic government.

Works Cited:

Dowson, Thomas. Finding Remains of the Bastille in Paris Today. 14 July 2019, Editors. “Bastille Day.”, A&E Television Networks, 21 June 2017,

“Storming of the Bastille in the French Revolution.” History Crunch - History Articles, Summaries, Biographies, Resources and More,

“Storming of the Bastille.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 Oct. 2020,

An illustration of the Storming of the Bastille, citizens rally on the outside while smoke and fire burns the inside. The Storming Of The Bastille