Bastille (n.) Look up Bastille at Dictionary.com
14th century Paris fortress, used as a prison and destroyed by revolutionaries on July 14, 1789, as a symbol of royal despotism; French, literally "fortress, gate tower" (see bastion). Many French cities kept their medieval gate-towers as prisons after other foritifications were removed. The word was in Middle English in the "fortress" sense as bastel, bastyle.