The Bastille is the site of the fortress that saw the beginning of the French Revolution (Bastille Day) on July 14, 1789.
The July Column which commemorates the events of the 1830 Revolution stands at the center of the square. Other notable features include the Bastille subway station and a section of the Canal Saint Martin. But the most obvious building today is the Opera house built by President Francois Mitterand.
You'll find art galleries clustered around rues Keller, Tamandiers and the adjoining stretch of rue de Charonne. And, on rue de Lappe, a very Parisian tradition : the "bals musettes", or dance halls of the1930s "Gai Paris".