I can’t resist looking at the gun, its barrel hovering no more than six feet in front of me. The idea of bullets traveling near Mach 3 and fragmenting in my torso suddenly puts burst eardrums at the bottom of my list of worries.
Distinguished military and civil leaders bear the French flag and that of the French Foreign Legion during the Bastille Day ceremonies.
Spectators eagerly await the procession of the French Foreign Legion during the parade.
Members of the French Foreign Legion march with practiced poise through La Place de la Comédie. Their pace is markedly slower than other French units. Because of this they are always the last unit marching in any parade.
A man approaches the Porte du Peyrou, a triumphal arch completed in 1693.
Spectators look on as the public celebration concludes with an impressive show of fireworks that lights up the night sky.
Tricolor banners fly on le quatorze juillet (July 14th) in La Place de la Comédie in Montpellier, where a crowd has gathered to celebrate La Fête Nationale, or Bastille Day. The day commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, and the symbolic beginning of the modern nation of France.
From the bell tower of the Basilica of St. Michel, which stands separate from the church, visitors can look down on the rest of the Gothic structure and the river Garonne beyond. The bell tower, which was constructed in the 15th century and stands 114 meters tall, is the highest point in Bordeaux.
A series of bells form the carillons of the tower of St. Michel, one of France’s historical monuments.
On the Place des Quinconces, la République triumphs over her enemies in a monument dedicated to the Girondins who fell to the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. At the top of the column, la Liberté breaks free from her chains. Le coq gaulois, an unofficial symbol of France, can be seen near the base of the column on the right.
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