Le Quatorze Juillet

Bastille Day, known in French as le quatorze juillet or Fête Nationale,  is a French National holiday held on the 14 July each year.  It was on this day in 1789  when hundreds of Parisians stormed the Bastille Prison in Paris starting the French Revolution and bringing about the end of the monarchy.   France saw the birth of its constitution soon after, as well as the renowned French declaration liberté, égalité, fraternité – freedom, equality and brotherhood.

There are celebrations nationwide in France to mark Bastille Day, but the biggest takes place along the Champs-Elysées in Paris. Thousands of spectators turn out to watch the procession and military bands as they parade along Paris’ most famous avenue which is heavily decorated with French flags. Later in the evening there is a huge firework display, usually with the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop. Many people then join the parties that continue until dawn in the city’s bars, cafés and restaurants.

In addition to France, celebrations will be taking place in many US cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco as well as other countries including Hungary, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

Did you know that the Pont de la Concorde in Paris is built with the stones from the Bastille Prison? The next time you go to Paris walk across the bridge as you will be crossing a milestone of French history.

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