Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Bastille - 5-Star Prison

From the Washington Post:
A roaring fireplace, a warm bed, some wine and little pastries welcomed people to La Bastille. This was no charming inn, but the notorious French prison, stormed by an angry Parisian mob on July 14, 1789, in an outburst that helped set off the French Revolution.

For the first time, an exhibit in Paris has pulled together archives on the prison to offer a glimpse into the hidden world of the Bastille. It shows the inmates' relative comfort - and why it became such a target of revolutionary ire.

"I maintain it was a 5-star prison," said historian and Bastille expert Claude Quetel. He said the prison's privileged position came from being directly under the king's eye, both geographically and because it was where monarch after monarch sent his personal enemies.

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