14    Jul 20111 comment

Happy Bastille Day

Happy Bastille Day!

Today, July 14th, is Bastille Day, the French National Day.

Known as La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration) or le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July), in France, Bastille Day doesn’t commemorate the storming of the Bastille prison, but the Fête de la Fédération, which was first held in 1790 on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789.

It’s a small distinction, but an important one.

While the storming of the Bastille was part of the early machinations of the French Revolution, the Fête de la Fédération one year later was seen as the end of that revolution and the commencement of the Constitutional Monarchy.

DID YOU KNOW?: Did you know that the Fête de la Fédération was held on Paris' Champ de Mars, the present-day site of the Eiffel Tower? (see the painting below to see what it looked like back then)

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