L'Opéra Bastille: 12e

FRANCE PARIS Opera Bastille July Column

The Opéra Bastille [67 rue de Lyon +33 143471322 www.operadeparis.fr] is a modern opera house that was built to commemorate the bicentennial of the French Revolution. Located just behind the famous July Column, the Opéra Bastille is a big, sparkling, dome-like structure that can seat over 2000 people. Slick yet inviting the opera house was opened in 1989 to bring classical music to the masses and is brightly lit at night (sometimes even obscuring the historic column). Initially thought of as an eye sore, the building has endeared itself to the Parisians over the years. 

Place de la Bastille is a square of historic significance, as this was where the medieval Bastille fortress-cum-prison stood. The towers of this building represented the authority of the monarchy in the 18th century; thus it was stormed through and destroyed during the French Revolution. Many consider this event to be the starting point of the French Revolution. This incident, known as the Storming of the Bastille is celebrated each year, on the 14th of July. While no remnants of this event remains, another revolution in 1830 (July Revolution) is commemorated in Bastille via the July Column- a 47m high column that commemorates the fall of the reign of Charles X of France.  As such, Place de la Bastille is still a politically significant area and demonstrations (if any) are still held here. However, on a normal day the area is home to a lively stretch of concert halls, cafes and night clubs.