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Top 5 Facts: The Bastille

The taking of the Bastille by French revolutionaries.

1. Charlie – The Bastille was ordered by Charles V of France. The first stone was laid on 22 April 1370, but it would not be completed in its 18th Century iteration until 1557.

2. Gate – The Bastille was designed to be a highly fortified gate, to be
integrated into the Paris city wall. Charles VI made it a stronghold, walling up openings and refortifying.

3. Cardi – Cardinal de Richelieu was the first to use the Bastille as a state prison in the 17th Century. Prisoners tended to be troublemakers who raised grievances against the state.

4. Cachet – Every prisoner was interned by lettre de cachet, a direct order of the King. During the Bastille’s time as a prison, an average of 40 people were resident at all times.

5. Demolition – Due to the cost of maintaining such a massive structure, the nobility of France considered demolishing the Bastille as early as 1784. It was finally demolished in 1789.


  • Pacific7

    Interesting! For more information and intriguing details of the French Revolution, the Storming of the Bastille, and the Bastille key that Lafayette gave to Washington, check out the book “George Washington’s Liberty Key” and http://www.LibertyKey.US