The Bastille was a fortress converted to a prison and located in Paris, France. It was known formally as the Bastille Saint-Antoine. It played an important role in the internal conflicts of France and for most of its history was used as a state prison by the kings of France. Originally it was built during the Hundred Years' War to protect the city against the English.

The fortress was stormed by a crowd on the 14th of July, 1789, in the French Revolution, becoming an important symbol for the French Republican movement, and was later demolished and replaced by the Place de la Bastille. This square celebrating liberty was completed in 1792 and became one of the most visited sites of the city. You can see the place in this 1878 picture:

The column in the center is called the July Column (Colonne de Juillet). It was erected here between 1835 and 1840. The square is popularly known as simply Bastille. Various festive events take place on the square, such as musical performances and art festivals.

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