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The directory Plots

La Bastille

La Bastille

Taken from the French word bastide, meaning fortress, the Bastille was constructed to defend the eastern wall of Paris from hostile forces in 1382. With walls over eighty feet high and well stocked and supplied arsenal, the Bastille quickly gathered the reputation of one of Frances most secure military strongpoints. However, after being besieged seven times and surrendering six of those times, the importance of the fortress diminished. By the early seventeen hundreds it had become a prison.

Cardinal Richelieu, acting under King Louis XIII, imprisoned any displeasing character for any reason. Prisoners were arrested by a secret warrant issued by the King called a lettres-de-cachet. Not allowed a trail, told what their offense was, or even what their punishment was to be, these enemies of the King were quickly taken away and imprisoned in one of the many high towers of the Bastille. Famous prisoners include Voltaire, the famous political writer, and Marquis de Sade, a well-known French writer. The most famous and mysterious prisoner of the Bastille, is the legendary man in the iron mask. This character has had such a following that a book, written by Alexander Dumas, and a popular movie have been made depicting his life in the Bastille. However, neither one of these is an accurate retelling of the mysterious mans life.

When prisoners were released from the walls of the Bastille, they were allowed to go only if they agreed never to tell what they had seen or what had happened inside the feared prison. This lack of knowledge about the Bastille helped to create a mystique of horror and terror that the King could use to coerce certain things out of people. However, the reality of the Bastille was much different than the mystique created by the King. All of the rooms until the year 1701 were left unfurnished. Wealthy political prisoners were allowed to bring in their own furniture, many even brought their own servants with them. Meals were of generous proportions, and more luxurious meals could be bought if the prisoner was wealthy enough. Most prisoners were docile. They were allowed to walk freely around the fortress, talk with officers and other prisoners and play games. Many had their own personal hobbies, and a few were even allowed to visit the city of Paris on parole. The Bastille was much more comfortable, even homelike, than the horrific rumors that circled around France proclaimed.

In 1789 when the angry mob broke through the walls and stormed the Bastille they found only seven prisoners inside: four forgers, two lunatics, and a young noble. However, it was not to free the prisoners inside that the battle was fought. Instead, it was to bring down the single most important symbol of the Kings power. The Governor of the Bastille, De Launay, had his head cut off and paraded around the streets of Paris on a pike. In the end eighty-three attackers were dead, and seventy-three injured. The guards only suffered one death and three wounded.


Afganistan, 1989, Arc de Triomphe de lEtoile, Storming the Bastille

Albania, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Bangladesh, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Bangladesh, 1989, Revolution Crowd

Bangladesh, 1989, Revolution Crowd

Benin, 1989, Storming the Bastille, french stamp

Burkina Faso, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Burkina Faso, 1993, Sights of Paris

Cameroon, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Cameroon, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Cameroon, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Cameroon, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Cameroon, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Central African Republic, 1989, Allegory in Honour of Liberty

Central African Republic, 1989, Demolition of the Bastille

Comoren Islands, 1989, Jacque Necker and Storming the Bastille

Congo, 1966, Robespierre, Storming the Bastille

Congo, 1968, Demolition of the Bastille

Congo, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Cote dIvoire, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Cote dIvoire, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Cote dIvoire, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Cote dIvoire, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Cote dIvoire, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Cote dIvoire, 1989, Bastille and detail of Declaration of Rights of Man

DDR, 1989, Storming the Bastille

France, 1971, Fall of the Bastille

France, 1989, Storming of the Bastille

France, 1989, Bastilie Column

France, 2004, Column of Bastille

French Equatorial Africa, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Equatorial Africa, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Equatorial Africa, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Equatorial Africa, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Equatorial Africa, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Equatorial Africa, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Guyana, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Guyana, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Guyana, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Guyana, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Guyana, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Guyana, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Guyana, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French India, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French India, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French India, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French India, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French India, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Polinesie, 1989, Storming the Bastille; mutiny on Bounty

French Somalia Coast, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Somalia Coast, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Somalia Coast, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Somalia Coast, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Somalia Coast, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Sudan, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Sudan, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Sudan, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Sudan, 1939, Storming the Bastille

French Sudan, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Gabon, 1988, Storming the Bastille

Ghana, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Grenada Grenadines, 1989, Mickey on place of Bastille

Guadeloupe, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Guadeloupe, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Guadeloupe, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Guadeloupe, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Guadeloupe, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Guinea, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Guinea, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Guinea, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Guinea, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Guinea, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Guinea, 2007, Column of Bastille

Guinea, 2009, Louis XVi, Danton, Robespierre

Guinea, 2011, French presidents, Napoleon I, Bastille, Louis XVI

Guinea Bissau, 1989, Storming of the Bastille

Hungary, 1948, Voltaire

Indochine, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Indochine, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Indochine, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Indochine, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Indochine, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Indochine, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Inini, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Inini, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Inini, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Inini, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Inini, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Irland, 2000, Storming the Bastille

Jersey, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Kouang-Tcheou, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Kouang-Tcheou, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Kouang-Tcheou, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Kouang-Tcheou, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Kouang-Tcheou, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Madagaskar, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Madagaskar, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Madagaskar, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Madagaskar, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Madagaskar, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Madagaskar, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Madagaskar, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Madagaskar, 1989, Desmoulins' call to arms

Maldives, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Mali, 1989, Marianne and Storming of Bastille

Martinica, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Martinica, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Martinica, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Martinica, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Mauritanie, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Mauritanie, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Mauritanie, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Mauritanie, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Mauritanie, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Mexico, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Mozambique, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Mozambique, 2012, Rousseau, statue of Diderot

New Caledonia, 1939, Storming the Bastille

New Caledonia, 1939, Storming the Bastille

New Caledonia, 1939, Storming the Bastille

New Caledonia, 1939, Storming the Bastille

New Caledonia, 1939, Storming the Bastille

New Caledonia, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Nicaragua, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Niger, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Niger, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Niger, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Niger, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Niger, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Niger, 1991, Honore de Mirabeau

Okeania, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Okeania, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Okeania, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Okeania, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Okeania, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Okeania, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Panama, 1989, Demolition of the Bastille

Peru, 1990, Demolition of the Bastille

Reunion, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Reunion, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Reunion, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Reunion, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Reunion, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Reunion, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Rumania, 1989, Storming of Bastille

Senegal, 1935, Storming the Bastille

Senegal, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Senegal, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Senegal, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Senegal, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Senegal, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Seychelles, 1989, Storming the Bastille

St. Pierre and Miquelon, 1939, Storming the Bastille

St. Pierre and Miquelon, 1939, Storming the Bastille

St. Pierre and Miquelon, 1939, Storming the Bastille

St. Pierre and Miquelon, 1939, Storming the Bastille

St. Pierre and Miquelon, 1939, Storming the Bastille

St. Pierre and Miquelon, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Togo, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Togo, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Togo, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Togo, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Togo, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Togo, 1989, Storming of the Bastille

Tuvalu, 1989, Overprint

Uganda, 1989, Revolutionary with musket and Bastille

USSR, 1989, Storming of Bastille

Vietnam, 1989, Storming the Bastille

Wallis & Futuna, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Wallis & Futuna, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Wallis & Futuna, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Wallis & Futuna, 1939, Storming the Bastille

Wallis & Futuna, 1939, Storming the Bastille

France, Paris. Bastille

France, 1971.07.10, Paris. Storming the Bastille

France, 1972.05.27, Paris. Column of Bastille

France, 1989, Philexfrance-89

France, 1996, Column of Bastille

France, 2001, Column of Bastille

France, 1989, Column of Bastille

2003-2020 Dmitry Karasyuk. Idea, preparation, drawing up
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