William J. Bahr: Academia.edu Page 1 12/30/2020
Abstract: Bastille Measurement:
Resurrecting the Dimensions of Despotism with ddendum
This article is about an architectural investigation of the Bastille’s
measurements. Before writing a book involving the Bastille [George
Washington’s Liberty Key: Mount Vernon’s Bastille Key – the Mystery
and Magic of Its Body, Mind, and Soul], I could find no written
descriptions of its height, length, and width. My first effort found
architectural drawings of the Bastille upon which I overlaid “tape
measures” developed by Photoshopping extended (end-to-end) scales.
Subsequently, I discovered three modern French authors who had made
assertions regarding the Bastille’s measurements, which were
significantly different from mine. To bolster my contentions, I found
additional Bastille drawings, these with partial measurements called-out
(annotated), which I added together to come to total measurements.
Unable to make an on-site survey of the street paver outlines of the
Bastille at the Place de la Bastille, Paris, France, I used Google Earth for
a GPS survey. I later also discovered a measured Bastille scale model
and upscaled it, finding it exactly matched my previous estimates.
Consolidating and integrating my efforts, I offer my Bastille
measurements with interesting comparisons to the Lincoln Memorial and
the Chateau de Tarascon.
© William J. Bahr 2020 www.LibertyKey.US
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Addendum — 6 December 2020
I published the my work on the previous pages on 16/17 April 2020.
Later, on 7 October, I read L'Ephemere Resurrection de la Bastille (The
Ephemeral Resurrection of the Bastille) about the reconstruction of the
Bastille for the 1899 Paris Universal Exposition.8Note that the book’s
page 167 below has a faithful miniature of the Bastille measuring 38 cm
high, 99 cm long, and 57 cm wide. 99/38 = 2.6. 57/38 = 1.5.
Assuming 100 ft (30 meters) height of Bastille (per Encyclopedia
Britannica et al), as per measurements further below, then length is 2.6 x
or 260 feet (79 meters), with width 1.5 x or 150 feet (46 meters).
This again confirms previous estimates of correct Bastille
measurements! Here is the link to the book:
William J. Bahr: Academia.edu Page 3 12/30/2020
William J. Bahr: Academia.edu Page 4 12/30/2020
L'Ephemere Resurrection de la Bastille (The Ephemeral Resurrection of
the Bastille by Thierry Van de Leur, with page 167 notation by William
J. Bahr. View of west side of Bastille.
Translation of French starting with underlined Cette Bastille: "This
Bastille chalonnaise which measures 38 cm high, 99 long and 57 wide, is
an authentic model but ... in plaster, a material all in all much easier to
work than stone and admirably lends itself to mass casts!"
"This Bastille chalonnaise which measures 38 cm high, 99 long and 57
wide, is an authentic model but ... in plaster, a material all in all much
easier to work than stone and admirably lends itself to mass casts!"
1. Nicholas Faucherre. Sous les pavés, la Bastille, Archéologie d'un
mythe révolutionnaire (Paris, Caisse Nationale des Monuments
Historiques et des Sites, 1989), 46.
2. Danielle Muzerelle. La Bastille: ou l’enfer des vivants (Paris: BNF,
William J. Bahr: Academia.edu Page 5 12/30/2020
3. Jean-Christian Petitfils. La Bastille:Mystères et secrets d'une prison
d'Etat (Paris: Tallandier, 2016), 21.
4. Fernand Bournon. La Bastille, Histoire Et Description Des
Bâtiments.--Administration.--Régime de la Prison.—Événements
Historiques (Paris: Imprimenerie Nationale, 1893), 210-11.
5. Primary among several descriptions is the one made by Simon
Nicolas Henri Linguet. Memoirs of the Bastille: The Annotated
Version, ed. Jim Chevallier (San Bernardino, CA: Chez Jim
Books, 2005), 146.
6. A. J. Mathieu. “General Plan of the Bastille.”
required for zooming at http://www.regards.monuments-
7. Lincoln Memorial Building Statistics.
8. Thierry Van de Leur. L'Ephemere Resurrection de la Bastille (The
Ephemeral Resurrection of the Bastille). Strasbourg, France:
Thierry Van de Leur, 2011.