In the center of Place de la Bastille, stands the July Column, or Colonne de Juillet, which commemorates the July Revolution of 1830 that toppled Charles X and brought Louis-Philippe to power. It was commissioned by Louis-Philippe himself in 1831 and was completed in 1840.
The column is made of bronze, standing approximately 47 meters (154 feet) high, and is topped by a statue known as the “Génie de la Liberté” (Spirit of Freedom), holding a torch in one hand and a broken chain in the other, symbolizing liberty.
Place de la Bastille is a historic square in Paris, known for its role in French history as the site of the Bastille prison. The prison was infamous as a symbol of the absolute power of the French monarchy, particularly under Louis XVI, who used it to imprison his opponents without trial.
On July 14, 1789, as tensions rose during the French Revolution, a mob stormed the Bastille. This event, known as the Storming of the Bastille, is often seen as the start of the French Revolution, and the prison’s downfall became a symbol of the fall of the Ancien Régime. The event is still celebrated annually in France as Bastille Day.
The prison was completely demolished in the years following its capture, with very little remaining today. The area was transformed into a square, the Place de la Bastille.