Guides by Lonely Planet
Place de la Bastille
A 14th-century fortress built to protect the city gates, the Bastille became a prison under Cardinal Richelieu, which was mobbed on 14 July 1789, igniting the French Revolution. At the centre of the square is the 52m-high Colonne de Juillet a green-bronze column topped by a gilded, winged Liberty. Revolutionaries from the uprising of 1830 are buried beneath; the crypt will open to the public as part of a major redevelopment that will link the square to Bassin de l'Arsenal.