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What is Bastille Day?

Bastille Day is the French National Day that celebrates the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille  (Prise de la Bastille). 

On the 14th of July 1789, revolutionary insurgents attempted and succeeded to storm and seize control of the mediaeval fortress and political prison known as La Bastille!

"Is it a revolt?" asked Louis XVI to the Duke of La Rochefoucauld. The duke replied: "No sire, it's not a revolt; it's a revolution.”

Later on, encouraged by Queen Marie-Antoinette, Louis decided to escape with the whole royal family and reach the eastern frontier on 21 June 1791. 

According to legend, Louis XVI demanded to stop in the town where he was recognised to enjoy some wine and his favourite snack, the famous Brie de Meaux.

The Brie was such a delicacy, he refused to go until he finished it. Unfortunately for him, the revolutionaries arrived before he could leave, he was captured and brought back to Paris to die. 

While the story has a pretty tragic ending for the royal family, it is still interesting to think that the recent history of France, and many other parts of the world by extension, could have been different if only Brie de Meaux was not so extraordinarily delicious!

Nevertheless, Louis XVI died at the guillotine on 21 January 1793. He was the last king to live at the Palace of Versailles, and the revolutionaries duly gave him the nickname “Louis the Last”. Marie-Antoinette followed him to the guillotine nine months later.

The monarchy was officially abolished. A new constitution was written and declared all men to be equal before the law. 

Brie became the cheese of the people. A gastronomic revolutionary of the time proclaimed: "Brie cheese, loved by rich and poor, preached equality before it was suspected possible."

Brie For Every Man and Woman!

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