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Bastille Day 2011: Celebrating In Paris' Former Penal Quarter (PHOTOS)

08/15/2011 04:36 pm ET | Updated Sep 13, 2011

July 14th is Bastille Day, the the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris, which precipitated the French Revolution. Think Independence Day in America, but oh-so-French.

To celebrate the revolutionary ideals of liberté, égalité and fraternité, Paris -- and the whole country, really -- erupts into celebrations (check out photos from last year's fete here).

Historically-minded travelers can head towards the Bastille section of Paris to see where modern France was born. Starting at the Place de la Bastille, where a monument stands on the spot where the prison crumbled, visitors can explore a neighborhood that was once the sorrow of the French, and now shows Paris at her best.

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