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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

France 10 Franc - I

10 Franc, 1976
france 10 franc 1976Obverse shows some power transmission lines and reverse shows a map of France.

10 Franc, 1989
france 10 franc 1989The subject of this coin is the spirit of Bastille. A winged figure can be seen on the obverse, which has been taken from the Place de La Bastille.

Place de La Bastille
place de la bastilleThis is one of the most famous spots in Paris, and a pivotal part of French history. It is where the French Revolution began.

History of the Place de la Bastille:

The Bastille was built during the 100 years war in 1370 as a fortress guarding the eastern entrance into Paris. Later on, it became a jail. Many prisoners were kept here, some sentenced for “witchcraft” by King Louis XIV. The best known prisoner is known only as “The Man in Iron Mask”, and his time in the prison (and suggestions for his possible identity) have been chronicled in print and film alike. Political prisoners, such as the Marquis de Sade and Voltaire, were also kept at the Bastille. The Bastille soon became a symbol of royal power and oppression. The confrontation between the royals and the commoners ultimately led to rebellion, with the French people storming the fortress on July 14, 1789, beginning the French Revolution.

Today, nothing remains of the building, but paved stones mark its outline. A Colonne de Juillet (July column), topped by the Winged Spirit of Liberty, was erected in 1840 as a reminder of France's turbulent past, and to commemorate victims of another revolt, the 1830 uprising.

July 14 is celebrated in France as Bastille Day in remembrance of the French Revolution.

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