About the Square Where the Bastille StoodThe Bastille Square (Place de la Bastille), is a major square in Paris, and was built on the spot where, before the French Revolution, stood the Bastille Fortress. This prison, whose exact name is Bastille Saint-Antoine, became a symbol after being destroyed in the Revolutionary war. An outline is drawn today on the sidewalks where the building once stood.
The Bastille Square that is located today in Paris, exactly where the Bastille Fortress stood, symbolizes France's freedom as a people, after the monarchy was overthrown. It is located at a meeting point of three of the city's districts - the 4th, 11th and 12th. Though locals refer to all the surrounding areas "Besti," for Bastille.
At the center of the Bastille Square is the Colonne de Juillet (July Column), as monument for remembrance of Revolutionary War day in July 1830. From the square you can also see the Bastille Opera House, located where in the past the Bastille train station was located, the metro station "Bastille," and through the square the Canal Saint-Martin passes.
The North-Western part of the square is a big area for nightlife and there are often concerts, parades, and performances. The symbolic square often also hosts political demonstrations by trade unions and socialist movements, all praising the historical and symbolic significance of the Bastille.
Each Sunday a twenty kilometer roller skating tour departs from the Bastille. Only in extreme weather conditions this trip is canceled.
At this spot, on July 14, 1790, France independence celebrations traditions began. It all started when someone erected a dancing tented area at the center of the Bastille ruins. This is how the 14th of July celebrations began.
Four years later, on 1794, a guillotine was place in the center of the Antoine Square, the original name of the square. As per the resident's requests, the guillotine was removed pretty quickly, however this tradition continued - 73 people were beheaded here, during the revolution and after as well.
About the Bastille Fortress that Was Destroyed in the RevolutionThis happened on July 14, 1789, when the Bastille Fortress was rundown by the masses, who demanded ammunition from the officer in charge of the prison. When the officer refused the masses stormed the Bastille, killing him and the other officers working at the prison at the time.
After the ruins were cleared up, they were spread across France, as a symbol of the destruction of the Bastille and the monarchy it symbolized, that oppressed the people.
Years before that the Bastille Fortress was built in order to defend Paris. In the days of Louis the 14th it became a prison, where prisoners were held in rooms built around the 8 towers of the fortress. The prisoners were criminals, and also political opponents. For the people of France, this fortress became the symbol of cruelty and fear and oppression by the monarchy of France.