Bastille stormed

Bastille stormed

On July 14, 1789, militant Parisian workers storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress in Paris. Originally constructed in the 14th century, the Bastille was first used as a state prison in the 17th century. Although the average annual number of prisoners was only about 40, the Bastille came to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. On the morning of July 14, 1789, when only seven prisoners were being held, a mob descended on the Bastille and demanded the arms and munitions stored there. When the prison governor refused, the people stormed the fortress and freed the prisoners. This dramatic action signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, a three-year reign of terror and political turmoil in which King Louis XVI was overthrown and roughly 1,000 people, including the king and his wife Marie Antoinette, were sent to the guillotine. The Bastille was demolished during the Revolution. Today, July 14–Bastille Day–is celebrated as a national holiday in France.