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Did You Know? Little known facts about very well-known French events, places or personalities.


La Bastille
We all know that July 14 is Bastille Day in France and that the celebrations commemorate the storming by Parisians of the jail of La Bastille.
But did you know? that the infamous building hosted François Marie Arouet, nom de plume: Voltaire (yes, the famous philosopher) not once, but twice.
First in 1717 when Voltaire spent 11 months in the jail for having offended the, then regent Philippe II d'Orléans. He used this "free time" to write his first play:Oedipus.
Then in 1726, Voltaire was sent to La Bastille again, this time for having offended Louis de Rohan, a young, influential noble. Voltaire was released on condition of exile. He would spend 2 years in England before returning to Paris.

We're pretty sure that Voltaire also celebrated when he got out of there... Happy Bastille Day!

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