Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fête Nationale

Today is Bastille Day, also known as Fête Nationale. The holiday is celebrated all over France as well as several other countries.

The Bastille prison, located in Paris, was once greatly feared for the terror which occurred inside its walls. On July 14, 1789, it became a symbol of French Revolution and freedom.

La Liberté guidant le peuple (Liberty Leading The People) by Eugène Delacroix

The Bastille prison was originally called the Chastel Saint-Antoine. It was built between 1370 and 1383 under King Charles V and King Charles VI to serve as a fortress and protection of the city of Paris against Anglo-Burgundian forces during the Hundred Years' War. The four and 1/2 building was surrounded by its own moat and was located at the eastern main entrance to medieval Paris. It had eight towers which were approximately 77.1 ft. (23.5m) high. There were two courtyards and an armory.

La Bastille dans les prémiers jours de sa demolition (The Bastille Early in Its Demolition)  by Hubert Robert

The storming of the Bastille occurred on July 14, 1789 and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The event is celebrated annually on July 14 in France and many other countries and is officially called the Fête Nationale.


On the one year anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in 1790 people honored Fête de la Fédération with a huge feast to celebrate the uprising of the short-lived constitutional monarchy in France and the short lived, but successful, French Revolution. The event took place on the Champ de Mars, which was at the time far outside Paris.

A mass was given to mark the occasion and General Lafayette, captain of the National Guard of Paris, took his oath to the constitution. The celebration lasted four days with feasts, fine wine, fireworks and people running naked through the streets.

Today Bastille Day is celebrated in much the same way sans the running naked through the streets part.Will you open a bottle of wine and enjoy some lovely French bread and cheese to celebrate?

Viva La France!

Andrea and Laura


Linking to:

French Cupboard

French Country Cottage