The Bastille Merry: The Place de la Bastille. Of course. Everybody knows about the Bastille. … Where is it? Peter



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The Bastille
Merry: The Place de la Bastille. Of course. Everybody knows about the Bastille. … Where is it?
Peter: Sorry, Merry. It isn’t. There’s nothing left of it.
Merry: But it was a historic building. The storming of the Bastille and all that! There must be something, somewhere!
Peter: Not really. It was demolished ages ago. There’s a small heap of stones from it down by the riverside.
Merry: And nothing else?
Peter: A bit of one of the foundations on the Metro platform; three or four feet of very ordinary looking stone wall. Oh yes! I can show you exactly where the walls were though. Look over here.
Merry: What? You mean that line of dark stones in the road?
Peter: They mark the position of the walls of the Bastille. You could walk right around the contour of the place if you wanted.
Merry: I think I’ll pass on that. It’s mostly in the middle of the road. We’d get flattened by the traffic.
Peter: A wise decision Merry.
Merry: What’s with the tower in the middle then? Can you go up it?
Peter: That’s a monument to the Bastille and I’m afraid you can’t get in it now. Once, years ago, I came across a gang of workers there doing something inside and I persuaded them to let me go up.
Merry: It’s pretty high. Is there a lift inside?
Peter: You’re joking! All there is is a spiral staircase, and that’s a bit wobbly these days. It was quite a hair-raising climb, I’ll tell you. But you get a great view from the top.
Merry: Ah well. Let’s go and look at the pile of stones by the river.

© Mark Yates 2007

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