PLACE DE LA BASTILLE - OPERA BASTILLE - Paris
As a fortress and prison in Paris,
the Bastille was the symbol of royal absolutism before the French
Revolution. Built in 1369, it was originally aimed at improving
the city's defenses, though by the 17th century it was being used
as a jail. Voltaire and the Marquis de Sade were among its most
famous inmates. Rumor and pamphleteers had for years disseminated
a picture of its dungeons packed with wretched state prisoners.
On July 13, 1789, exhorted "to arms" by a young lawyer,
Camille Desmoulins, a mob gathered outside the Bastille, that frowning
fortress whose guns were menacingly directed on the poor quarter
of the Faubourg St-Antoine which surrounded it.The Bastille’s one-time foundations can be found, look for paving stones which traces the building’s outline on the ground between boulevard Henri IV and rue St-Antoine and also in the Bastille metro station, on the platform of line 5.
The Bastille Opera
In 1983, Carlos Ott's design was chosen amongst 750 other contestants
for the design of a new opera house, which would be situated in
the district of La Bastille. His design was characterised by its
respect for the characteristics of the district, an inviting sight
for the public by it's glass façade and the use of identical
materials inside and outside. The Opera Bastille was designed to
make new concepts in scenery and stage decor fit together (the three-dimensional
sets that complete or replace the trompe-l'oeil of the baroque and
romantic period) and for a new public.
The Bastille opera house was opened by President François
Mitterrand on July 13, 1989.
You'll find art galleries clustered around rues Keller, Tamandiers
and the adjoining stretch of rue de Charonne. And, on rue de Lappe,
a very Parisian tradition : the "bals musettes", or dance
halls of the1930s "gai Paris", frequented between the
wars by Piaf, Jean Gabin and Rita Hayworth.
Day and Night Life
The most famous bals musette,"The Balajo", rue de Lappe,
was founded by Jo de France, who introduced glitter and spectacle
into what were then seedy gangster dives, and brought Parisians
from the other side of the city to savour the rue de Lappe lowlife.
The rue de Lappe can still be as dodgy a place to be at night as
it was in prewar days. The bouncers at clubs like the Chapelle des
Lombards, and at Balajo itself, the heavy drug scene and the uneasy
mix of local residents have taken the soul away from a street that
ten years ago deserved the special affection that Parisians of all
sorts gave it.
Opéra Bastille: Place de la Bastille Paris 12
From the hotel Villathena, take
at St Lazare line 12 to Concorde and Line 1 to Bastille in approx 25 minutes.
How to get there
Metro line 1,5 or 8 : Bastille
Informations, hours, entrance fees & acces map.
Info Paris (clic below)
Paris by Night, Weather, Embassies, Cults, Maps.
Glossary, Popular Places, Itineraries, Transportation.
Shopping, Gay & lesbian info.