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.