Bastille Saint-Antoine

Bastille Saint-Antoine
The Bastille, or more exactly the Bastille Saint-Antoine, was a fortress built on the present site of the Bastille in Paris.

Designed to defend the Porte Saint-Antoine and the ramparts of the east of Paris has become more vulnerable, or the Bastille Bastille Saint-Antoine was initially a real castle and arsenal. It was built under the reign of Charles V, 1370-1383, by Hugh Aubriot, the current model with four towers at the time. The other towers were later added him. It was 66 meters long and 34 meters wide and 24 meters high at the towers, and was surrounded by a moat of 25 meters wide by 8 feet deep waters fed by the Seine. The eight towers were called corner towers, the Chapel, the Treasury, the Shire, the Bertaudiere, the Basinière, the Well and Liberty. The entrance was by the Rue Saint-Antoine and gave the Court of the Advanced which housed shops and a barracks. At the same time is built dungeon of Vincennes.

Very soon, his poor proving military utility - "under siege, she always made" - a new enclosure was built. The fortress was then used as a safe place of acceptance and Francis.

During the Day of Barricades (Eighth War of Religion), the Bastille surrendered May 13, 1588.

Sully, appointed governor in 1602, it housed the royal treasury in the tower of the same name, which then appointed as the term "Buffet King.

The Bastille is again taken during the Fronde in 1649 and was appointed governor Frondeur: Pierre Broussel.

The Bastille was used occasionally as a prison during the reign of Louis XI, but Cardinal Richelieu who turned it into a state prison to which are attached the lettres de cachet, signed letters of the King (or more often their Ministers) ordering imprisonment without trial. It was a comfortable prison rather for quality people (nobility, upper middle class) who had large rooms with fine dining and servant, furniture and firewood. The royal prisoners are allowed to correspond with the outside, to receive visitors and enjoy relative freedom of movement within the fortress. The Marquis de Sade was detained there five and a half. The number of its prisoners, it has never exceeded 45. The Bastille also included since the late seventeenth century, a district much less pleasant for the common prisoners, and the dungeons (not dungeon), located six meters deep and served as punishment for unruly prisoners, for example, the famous Latude.

The arrival of a new prisoner is announced by a ringing bell. The shops nearby, so close and the guards to cover the face not to see the face of the newcomer. This cult of secrecy also motivates the burial of prisoners at night under false names. It contributes significantly to the myth of the man in the iron mask.

One historian described the same Bastille appointment intellectuals as Voltaire would gather there as well (twice in 1717 and 1726) as pamphleteers as Linguet or Brissot censored.

It was also a financial drain on Louis XVI, because of both the salary of the Governor of approximately 60,000 books, but also the maintenance staff, many, or food. Necker, who had already quit the dungeon of Vincennes, wanted it pulled down in 1784. The people did not seem really concerned that building, but the grievance lists of the city, written by actors of the frond of parliaments, demanded its destruction and its replacement by a square with a monument to liberty found. As any mighty fortress, it marked the landscape of Paris and reminded the king's authority (as the Temple).

Bastille Day July 14, 1789
The Bastille was stormed July 14, 1789 by the Parisians come for the powder. It was also to seize the revolutionaries of the last bastion Royal in Paris after the uprising of 13 July.

The storming of the Bastille is now considered a symbol of the French Revolution it marks the beginning.

However, the French national holiday commemorates the anniversary of the Federation, July 14, 1790, celebrating itself the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille.

Read also Jeanne d'Arc


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