14th of July

15 Jul
File:Plaque Bastille rue Saint-Antoine.jpg

Here was the first court entry of La Bastille through which the assailants got into the fortress on the 14th of July 1789

Two hundred and twenty two years ago, there was a revolution.

“Is it a rebellion?” King Louis XVI asked.

“No, sire, it is not a rebellion. It is a revolution”, answered the duke of La Rochefoucauld.

While the people thought that the Bastille secured many wrongful  prisoners, it only held seven captives: 4 forgers, 2 madmen and 1 criminal that his own family had required to be locked up. After the fall, writers created false torture tools that prisoners supposedly had to endure, such as an old armour and a printing machine! The skeletons found were said to belong to the victims of the tyranny. The legend goes to say that the revolutionaries found the remains of “the man with the iron mask”. File:Prise de la Bastille.jpg

A prison almost empty, undoubtedly, but a prison overflowing with the symbolism of the monarchy and its tyranny over its people.

During the centuries of the absolute monarchy, the fortress was the state prison, where countless enemies – or thought to be – of the king had been imprisoned without trials or judgements. La Bastille was not only the symbolism of tyranny but also the domineering fortress over Paris whose shadow kept the people in their place.

The english ambassador wrote to the foreign office calling that day “the biggest revolution that History will remember, and considering the impact, it cost relatively little blood.

France was free.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité… ou la mort.

 

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2 Responses to “14th of July”

  1. Kerry Newill July 16, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    I was so enjoying testing my translation skills on that plaque. I’s feeling quite chuffed. I did quite well. It’s all that van Blerk training. We must chat soon!

    • Ingrid July 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

      Good on you Kerry! I’m expecting some good french in November!!
      So when are you phoning me!! 🙂

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