Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the absolute and arbitrary power of Louis XVI's Ancient Regime. By capturing this symbol, the people signaled that the king's power was no longer absolute,power should be based on the Nation and be limited by a separation of powers. In the year 1789 Louis XVI called together a meeting with the Estates General to hear their greivances. The common people comprising the Third Estate broke away and formed a National Assembly and took the Tennis Court Oath swearing not to separete untill a constitution has been established. The members of the other estates also joined them. The assembly then began to function as a legislature. The storming of the Bastille and the subsequent Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was the opening stage of the revolution. On 11 July the people of Paris out of fear of being attacked by the royal military were seeking to gain ammunition and gunpowder for the general people stormed the Bastille.
Bastille day is France's most important national holiday. On the evening before Paris is decorated with lights,dancers and revellers all out to enjoy a good life. On the very day people crowd at the Champs-Elysees to get a view of the President who leads the military parade. The march starts at the Arc de Triomphe and ends at the Place de la Concorde. The fire brigade brings up the rear of the parade and gets the loudest applause. Parties and celebrations also take place in different bars and clubs.