Piece of the Bastille, Paris, France, ca. 1380

The storming of the Bastille, a former royal garrison and prison in the city of Paris, on July 14, 1789, was a seminal event in the history of the French Republic and a revolutionary symbol that has been celebrated in Franco-American relations ever since. The demolition of the Bastille left a debris field that fed the market for Revolutionary relics in France, England, and the United States. The Marquis de Lafayette, for example, presented George Washington with a key to the Bastille that Washington proudly displayed in the center hall at Mount Vernon.
Gift of Mrs. Sarah Ella Cummings, 1924
Object Name
building fragment
date made
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 1/4 in x 1/4 in x 3/8 in; .635 cm x .635 cm x .9525 cm
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
associated place
France: Île-de-France, Paris, Bastille
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Political History: Political History, General History Collection
Souvenir Nation
Government, Politics, and Reform
Souvenir Nation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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