July 14 – Bastille Day
The storming of the Bastille, on July 14, 1789, has been commemorated in France for more than a century.
In the first months of the French Revolution, great turmoil reigns in Paris. In the spring of 1789, the Estates General, refusing to dissolve, were transformed into the National Constituent Assembly. In July, King Louis XVI calls in more troops and dismisses Necker, a popular minister.
On the morning of July 14, the people of Paris take up arms in the Invalides and set out for an old royal fortress: the Bastille. After a bloody shooting, he seizes it and frees the few imprisoned there.
The storming of the Bastille is a first victory for the people of Paris over a symbol of the Old Regime. In the months that followed, the fortress building was completely demolished.
On the “Feast of the Federation”, on July 14, 1790, the first anniversary of the insurrection is celebrated with great pomp. In Paris, on the Champ de Mars, Talleyrand celebrates a great mass at the altar of the fatherland.
Since 1880, July 14 has been the National Day of France, not to celebrate the storming of the Bastille itself, but to commemorate the Feast of the Federation of 1790, whose date coincided on purpose and which celebrated reconciliation and unity of all French.