Today in the Middle Ages: April 22, 1370

On April 22, 1370, the first stones of the Bastille were laid in Paris. Initial construction of the fortress was completed in 1382.

In modern times, the Bastille is most famous for its destruction in 1789, a key moment of the French Revolution. However, it was originally intended as a fortification against a possible English invasion of Paris in the Hundred Years' War. The moated stone building with its fifteen-foot-thick walls was used as a prison beginning in the reign of Louis XIII.