Now that we've interrupted your dance lesson (Gourville), come to your house at four in the morning (Renneville), had a friend - quite unexpectedly - drop you off (Linguet), arrested you in another country (Dumouriez), shipped you across the ocean (the entire council of Saint Domingue) or simply asked you to show up at your earliest convenience (Marmontel), we are going to:

  1. Take your sword.

  2. Have you empty your pockets and turn them inside out.

  3. Confiscate all your papers.

  4. Take all your valuables and put them in an envelope (which will be sealed).

  5. Confiscate any sharp objects such as knives, scissors, buckles, etc., explaining all the while why (you might attempt suicide - some have succeeded - or attack your jailor - more than one has been killed).

If you look at all suspicious, four men stand ready to search your person. Don't be misled by the nice uniforms....

We will then ask you to sign this STANDARD ENTRY FORM:

This day the (day, month, year), Sir _____ has entered the Bastille by order of the king, brought by Sir _____. Sir _____ had on him, in gold as well as silver, jewels, etc. ____ and concerning any papers, we have put them in an envelope, sealed with the castle's seal, or his own (if he has one) : (he may keep his seal) which package he has labeled around his seal and signed with his hand. In regards to his sword, its appearance is described. Sir ____ having no other effects on him, has signed the said entry, day, month and year as above. - If the officer has affixed a seal, or several, this is indicated at the bottom of the said entry.

(When - if - you leave, there's a STANDARD EXIT (LIBERTY) FORM as well.)

We'll soon be taking you to your room, whose number, along with the name of the tower it's in, will become your name during your stay here. You might complain about the food - some have -, but most in fact have found it pretty tasty. Depending on the governor (the warden, that is), you might have enough firewood to keep warm. Or not. The views aren't what they used to be - a lot of the windows have been blocked. But then, you do get an hour of exercise a day. In theory, anyway.

While the castle does have a library whose books can be lent to prisoners (who have the unfortunate habit of scribbling in them to pass messages to other prisoners), you won't really find much to read here. So you might want to glance at one of the following, starting, perhaps, with FUN FACTS ABOUT THE BASTILLE.

Fun facts about

Where was

Food in

A multi-cultural


Where is

A letter about

Who wrote about

copyright 2005 Jim Chevallier.
Please do not reproduce, extract or post elsewhere without prior permission.

Chez Jim

Memoirs of

the Bastille

Chez Jim