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July Column, Place de la Bastille, 1840.

The Bastille was a large fortress in Paris, France, famous for its extensive dungeons in which many French revolutionaries were imprisoned. One of its more well-known tenants was the Marquis de Sade.

On July 14, 1789, the Bastille was stormed by a mob and its prisoners freed, which is regarded as the start of the French Revolution. Bastille Day (July 14), the French national holiday, commemorates this event.

The fortress was demolished days after the storming. Today, its former location is marked in the Boulevard Henri IV and some portions of its foundation can be seen in the Bastille Metro station. The nearby Place de la Bastille is the site of the Bastille Opera.[1]

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