Place de la Bastille, Paris

Place de la Bastille, Paris

Bastille Square in Paris is what's left now of the once infamous fortress-turned-prison that stood in this place in the late 18th century. Initially reserved exclusively for the upper-class inmates, gradually this prison started to accommodate commoners, as well, although in the far less comfortable conditions than those afforded to the aristocracy, for which reason it acquired a bad reputation and was hated and feared, all at once. On July 14, 1789, the prison-fortress was stormed by a crowd of angry and armed people, upon which the prison governor first issued a ceasefire note, but then had to surrender and open the gates, seeing all the inmates liberated, thus marking the outset of the French Revolution. It was just a matter of days, after the storming, that a building contractor was hired for the demolition of the Bastille which, by November of the same year, was totally gone.

Now called Place de la Bastille, this square was established to commemorate those revolutionary events and to celebrate victory of democracy over tyranny. Special pavement stones here mark the original site of the fortress. The imposing July Column monument, dominating the square, commemorates another revolution – of 1830 – that lasted three days and saw hundreds of people die and resulting in King Charles X being replaced by King Louis-Philippe.

Centrally located, Bastille Square is perpetually busy. Adding to its popularity is also the near presence of the river Seine overlooking which are a number of benches, ideal for a quick stopover and having a bite while observing the surroundings – something the tourists quite like to do, actually.

There are also short river cruises running along the canal from the Bassin de l’Arsenal, passing through tunnels underneath the old foundations of the Bastille fortress and contemporary square, then re-emerging and passing through several locks before reaching the Bassin de la Villette, which is altogether quite an exciting way to see Paris from a different perspective!

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Paris, France within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Place de la Bastille on Map

Sight Name: Place de la Bastille
Sight Location: Paris, France
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Paris, France

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Creating your own self-guided walk in Paris is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Montmartre Walking Tour

Montmartre Walking Tour

Originally named “Mons Martis”, meaning the “Mount of Mars”, Montmartre is one of the most famous and visited neighborhoods in Paris. Beyond the Sacré-Coeur, the Moulin Rouge and notable landmarks, the district is also about the atmosphere, the narrow streets, and the artsy culture that has made Paris famous. Once home to artists such as Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh, Montmarte continues...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Paris Introduction Walk II

Paris Introduction Walk II

From the Louvre to the Notre-Dame Cathedral to Place de la Bastille, the evolution of Paris and its history is literally visible on the banks of the river Seine, the linking thread winding its way through the city, as if keeping a watchful eye on its architectural marvels. This walk is centered around Île de la Cité and Le Marais, which together form the historical core of power in Paris. Along...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.4 Km or 4 Miles
Royal Paris Walk

Royal Paris Walk

The capital of France is made up of 20 administrative districts, commonly referred to as “arrondissements”. The 1st arrondissement of Paris sits mainly on the right bank of the River Seine and is the home of royal palaces and lush gardens. This self guided walk explores Jardin des Tuileries, Palais-Royal, La Conciergerie and many other prominent sights.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Paris Introduction Walk I

Paris Introduction Walk I

The capital of France takes its name from the Celtic tribe of Parisii who, back in the Iron Age, around the 3rd century BC, settled near the river Seine. The Romans conquered the Parisii and established on their land a garrison town which, towards the end of the 5th century AD, fell to the Franks and flourished under their rule. Despite wars, revolutions and numerous social cataclysms, Paris had...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.9 Km or 4.9 Miles
Souvenirs Shopping Walk

Souvenirs Shopping Walk

It would be a pity to leave Paris without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. Being one of the world's premier shopping cities, Paris attracts thousands of shopaholics every year. Even people who hate shopping, enjoy doing it in Paris. In addition to fabulous designer shops and luxury items, it is a great destination if you are into fashion, gourmet...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles
Latin Quarter Walking Tour

Latin Quarter Walking Tour

The 5th arrondissement of Paris, also known as the Latin Quarter, is the city's oldest neighborhood. Its name came from the Middle Ages due to the presence of universities where Latin was commonly spoken by students and members of the clergy. Aside from several beautiful Medieval churches that are well worth a visit, the presence of said universities and students also brought some lively...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles

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