The Place de la Bastille is a square in Paris, where the Bastille prison stood until the 'Storming of the Bastille' and its subsequent physical destruction between 14 July 1789 and 14 July 1790 during the French Revolution; no vestige of it remains. The square straddles 3 arrondissements of Paris, namely the 4th, 11th and 12th. The square and its surrounding areas are normally called simply Bastille.
The July Column (Colonne de Juillet) which commemorates the events of the July Revolution (1830) stands at the center of the square. Other notable features include the Bastille Opera, the Bastille subway station and a section of the Canal Saint Martin. Prior to 1984, the former Bastille railway station stood where the opera house now stands.
The square is home to concerts and similar events. The north-eastern area of Bastille is busy at night with its many cafés, bars, night clubs, and concert halls. As a consequence of its historical significance, the square is often the site or point of departure of (usually left-led) political demonstrations, including the massive anti-CPE demonstration of 28 March 2006.
The Area Today:
The former location of the fort is currently called Place de la Bastille. It is home to the Opéra Bastille. The large ditch (fossé) behind the fort has been transformed into a marina for pleasure boats, the Bassin de l'Arsenal, to the south, which is bordered by the Boulevard de la Bastille. To the north, a covered canal, the Canal Saint-Martin, extends north from the marina beneath the vehicular roundabout that borders the location of the fort, and then continues for about 4.4 kilometers to the Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad.
On Thursdays and Sundays, a large, open-air market occupies part of the park to the north of the Place de la Bastille, along the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir. Consumers can find fresh fruit, fish, meat, cheese and bread along with clothing and typical flea market items.
Some undemolished remains of one tower of the fort were discovered during excavation for the Métro (rail mass-transit system) in 1899, and were moved to a park (the Square Henri-Galli) a few hundred metres away, where they are displayed today. The original outline of the fort is also marked on the pavement of streets and pathways that pass over its former location, in the form of special paving stones. A café and some other businesses largely occupy the location of the fort, and the Rue Saint-Antoine passes directly over it as it opens onto the roundabout of the Bastille.