July 14th – Bastille Day – represents one of the most significant events in French history. Here are 6 helpful historical facts about this unique holiday:
1 – Fighters stormed the Bastille.
During this key point in the French Revolution, the Bastille was torn apart stone by stone and seven prisoners were rescued.
2 – The Bastille was a symbol of archaic rule.
The Bastille represented the absolute rule of the monarchy, as it often held political prisoners with arbitrary charges that could not be appealed. Bastille Day became a symbol of change, and marked the end of King Louis XVI having all of the power.
3 – This event was a pivotal point in the French Revolution.
Three years after Bastille, France became a Republic. The French Senate was established in 1792. Napoleon Bonaparte went on to become the Emperor of France in 1804.
4 – Bastille Day became a public holiday in 1880.
While numerous celebrations occurred before this time, it was officially proposed as a holiday by politician Benjamin Raspail in 1880.
5 – The military parade in Paris has a long history.
Except for four years during World War II, a military parade has been held in Paris for more than 130 years. From 1940 until 1944, the Free French Forces marched in London, England, to celebrate Bastille Day instead.
6 – Unique to France, holidays such as Bastille Day can be fun additions to your tour.
There are 11 official national holidays in France, commemorating major historical events or days of religious importance. However, Bastille Day and All Saints Day are the most illustrious of France’s holidays. Epic parades, fireworks, and other festivities can be found throughout France as part of Bastille Day celebrations.
Now that you know these 6 easy facts, you’ll be better prepared to enjoy the history of France’s holiday – Bastille Day! To learn more about tours and custom travel packages that include Bastille Day, contact us.
In France, tourism increases throughout the summer. July is a great month for experiencing numerous activities, particularly if you center your trip around Bastille Day. This French national holiday is much like Independence Day in the United States. Parades and fireworks fill the day throughout the country. If you’re planning for a vacation to France in July, you might want to consider adding some of these great Paris tours and festivities to your “Must See” list.
· Bastille Day – Don’t miss out on this celebration. The epicenter of all activity is in Paris. A huge military parade takes over the streets of the Champs Elysees. Huge dancing parties are thrown in the local fire stations. Plus, it’s been said that the best viewing spot for the evening’s fireworks is in front of the Eiffel Tower, one of the iconic France tourism spots. But, if joining large crowds isn’t your idea of fun, fireworks can be seen from numerous locations throughout the city, including one of the bridges crossing the Siene River.
· Tour de France – While this cycling event is only in Paris for one day, many of the stages of this famous race are within reasonable travelling distance. The Tour spans three weeks in July and visits many beautiful cities along the way.
· Paris Plage – Traditionally, many French residents have headed to the sandy shores of the beaches during the summer months. Recognizing that not everyone could leave Paris, the city started this festival in 2002. Beginning at the end of July, numerous streets are blocked off and sand, palm trees, and sun umbrellas are imported along the banks of the Siene.
· Shopping – If you like to shop and are particularly interested in French fashions, you might want to time this portion of your Paris tour with the summer sales. Unlike the U.S., sales only occur two times a year in France. The summer sale generally begins at the end of June and continues for about a six week period. So, pack some extra luggage and make sure to check out all of the latest fashion trends!
· Museums – No Paris tour would be complete without a visit to the Louvre. This beautiful museum can be enjoyed free of charge on July 14th, in honor of Bastille Day! Arts and culture abound in Paris and there are many museums, festivals, art shows, and other fabulous venues to explore during your visit.
In France, tourism peaks during the summer months. But, don’t let that discourage you from taking your dream vacation! The beautiful weather allows for all kinds of festivals, parades, and outdoor fun. Paris tours can be the way to maximize your experience. Contact us today to schedule a traditional tour package or borrow our expertise to combine our Paris tours into your own custom journey.
While planning your summer trip to France, include Bastille Day. This national holiday is filled with parades, feasts, and fireworks – so no matter where you’re traveling in France, you’ll find plenty of celebration!
July 14th marks Bastille Day, the day Bastille (a prison) was stormed at the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. This event is particularly significant to the French because it was the beginning of the end of absolute power by the King. All future governments have been limited by separation of power. During this time, the tri-colored flag also appeared, representing liberty, equality, and fraternity.
Of the 11 official French holidays, several remember major historical events, such as Armistice Day and World War II Victory Day. Others mark events of religious importance, including the Assumption of Mary, All Saints Day, Whit Monday, and Ascension Day. But, none are as widely celebrated as Bastille Day – the best of all French holidays!
Celebrate Bastille Day in Style
Bastille Day is commemorated with parades, feasts, festivals, and plenty of red, white, and blue decorations. You’ll find the most pomp in Paris with a huge military parade, fighter jet demonstrations, floats, and many marching bands. The hub of activity is in Champs Elysees with the parade stretching from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde. Once the sun sets, you’ll want to move toward the Eiffel Tower to catch the fireworks extravaganza.
While Paris may host the largest jubilee, there’s plenty of Bastille Day revelry throughout France. Visit Annecy if you’d like to see the fireworks against the backdrop of the beautiful French Alps. Or, select Carcassonne and you’ll find yourself in the middle of Festival de la Cite, a month-long celebration of music and theatre.
Whichever Bastille Day festivities you choose, we can take the stress out of planning the celebration. Contact us to pick your tour, or we can customize a package just for you. Make your trip to France one you’ll never forget!