Facts about Bastille Day

Known as Bastille Day by English-speakers, France's National Day celebrates the birth of the French Republic and marks the storming of the Bastille in 1789.

To mark the day, here are 12 interesting facts about Bastille Day.

Over one hundred people died in the storming of the Bastille, but only seven prisoners were actually being held in the Bastille at the time. This included four forgers and two lunatics. Over one hundred people died in the storming of the Bastille, but only seven prisoners were actually being held in the Bastille at the time. This included four forgers and two lunatics. Bastille Day Facts

One freed prisoner is said to have refused to go until he had finished his roast pheasant dinner. Bastille Day Facts

After the storming of the Bastille, its main key was given to the Marquis de Lafayette who later gave it to George Washington After the storming of the Bastille, its main key was given to the Marquis de Lafayette who later gave it to George Washington Bastille Day Facts

When the Bastille was demolished, a developer made a fortune selling off pieces as souvenirs Bastille Day Facts

The Bastille was originally a royal state prison built in the 1370s to defend Paris from the English during the Hundred Years War Bastille Day Facts

One of the lunatics was an Anglo-Irish man named De Witt (or Whyte) who variously believed that he was either Julius Caesar, St. Louis, or God Bastille Day Facts

The rooster is a widely used symbol of France. The symbol drives from a Roman pun - the Latin word 'Gallus' means both 'rooster' and 'inhabitant of Gaul', the roman name for France. Bastille Day Facts

From 1814 to 1830, during the Bourbon restoration, France's flag was plain white. Bastille Day Facts

France uses the Heart emoji more than any other country. They use it more than the Smiley emoji. Bastille Day Facts

France is the most visited country in the world. 83 million people visited the nation in 2012. France is the most visited country in the world. 83 million people visited the nation in 2012. Bastille Day Facts

There are more French-speaking people in Africa than in France. There are more French-speaking people in Africa than in France. Bastille Day Facts

The political terms 'left wing' and 'right wing' come from the seating arrangements of the National Assembly in late 18th-century France, when progressive politicians would sit to the left of the president and conservative politicians to the right. Bastille Day Facts
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