The Bastille has alot of importance to the French history.
By crossing the Seine and following the Boulevard de la Bastille,
you will find the site of the Bastille Saint-Antoine, which
was a major part of the defences ordered by Charles V, built
from 1370. Louis XIV had the ramparts demolished but kept
the Bastille as a luxury prison for people of quality.
Promoted to the rank of a symbol of the arbitrariness of
the old monarchy, the Bastille was stormed by the Parisians
14th July 1789, and later razed. To remember not the surrender
of the prison with its last seven occupants in 1789, but the
July Revolution of 1830, which replaced the autocratic Charles
X with the "Citizen King" Louis-Philippe, a column
surmounted by the "Spirit of Liberty" on place de
la Bastille was erected.
Four months after the birth of the Second Republic in that
year, the workers took to the streets. All of eastern Paris
was barricaded, with the fiercest fighting on rue du Faubourg-St-Antoine.
The rebellion was quelled with the usual massacres and deportation
of survivors, but it is still the less contentious 1789 Bastille
Day that France celebrates. Political protestors have always,
however, used place de la Bastille as a rallying point, and
A sign of the Bastille Opera's vocation is that the metro
exit is in the hall where shopping area have also been planned.
The Bastille in the past
Where at one time , this area was filled with low-rent housing,
today, this is one of the most trendy areas of Paris. You
can find anything from old tool shops and ironmongers alongside
cocktail haunts and sushi bars; laundries and cobblers flank
electronic notebooks outlets.
The Bastille Today
You'll find art galleries clustered around rues Keller, Tamandiers
and the adjoining stretch of rue de Charonne. And, on rue
de Lappe, a very Parisian tradition : the "bals musettes",
or dance halls of the1930s "gai Paris", frequented
between the wars by Piaf, Jean Gabin and Rita Hayworth.
Day and Night Life
The most famous bals musette,"The Balajo", rue de
Lappe was founded by Jo de France, who introduced glitter
and spectacle into what were then seedy gangster dives, and brought
Parisians from the other side of the city to savour the rue
de Lappe lowlife.
The rue de Lappe can still be as dodgy a place to be at night
as it was in prewar days. The bouncers at clubs like the Chapelle
des Lomobards, and at Balajo itself, the heavy drug scene and
the uneasy mix of local residents have taken the soul away
from a street that ten years ago deserved the special affection
that Parisians of all sorts gave it.