PLACE DE LA BASTILLE

Place de la Bastille
Bastille
The Bastille has a lot 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 onwards. 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 on 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. 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 still do.

OPERA BASTILLE


Opéra Bastille, Paris
Bastille
The Opéra Bastillle has been inaugurated symbolically July 13, 1989, to celebrate the bicentenary of the French Revolution and is a work of the Canadian-Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott. The Opéra Bastille is the second national opera house, together with the Opéra Garnier. The building is characterized by a modern architecture with transparent façades. The French President François Mitterrand, who made the decision about the construction, wanted a “modern and popular” theatre, complementary of the Opéra Garnier - which is very prestigious but not very functional - and able to off-load it. The Opéra Bastille features 2700 sits, a modular scenic system and a repetition room as big as the main hall.

CHURCH SAINT AMBROISE


Built from 1863 to 1868, the church St-Ambroise is a neo-roman construction made under the direction of the architect Theodore Ballu. Recently renovated, the slender edifice stays in front of a little public garden. The Church Saint-Ambroise is well known in France for its occupation by “sans papiers” (undocumented/illegals immigrants).

EDITH PIAF MUSEUM


Edith Piaf spent her youth in this district. The Museum exhibits personal objects of the singer as well as documents on her artistic life.

THE SMOKING MUSEUM


The practice is as ancient as mankind and common to every continent, sometimes considered as holly, sometimes as evil. The Smoking Museum provides a vantage point for the observation of changing behaviours during the time and through the geographical space, gathering objects used by smokers from different places and ages, live plants and works of art revolving around smoking. The museum features also a gallery dedicated to temporary exhibits, and a library with books in different languages and contrasted points of view on the smoking matter.