A medieval fortress, the Bastille’s eight 30-metre-high towers, dominated the Parisian skyline. When the prison was attacked it actually held only seven prisoners, but the mob had not gathered for them: it had come to demand the huge ammunition stores held within the prison walls. When the prison governor refused to comply, the mob charged and, after a violent battle, eventually took hold of the building. The governor was seized and killed, his head carried round the streets on a spike. The storming of the Bastille symbolically marked the beginning of the French Revolution, in which the monarchy was overthrown and a republic set up based on the ideas of ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’ (the French for liberty, equality and brotherhood). In France, the ‘storming of the Bastille’ is still celebrated each year by a national holiday.