On Monday 14 July, it is Bastille Day in France, and, as the most important national holiday in France, it always promises residents and holidaymakers all over the country a day and night to remember. From parades to dances and breath-taking firework displays, this is an event that impresses every single year.
Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789, which marked the beginning of the French Revolution. By defeating the Bastille, a prison that was symbolic of Louis XVI’s power, its capture meant liberty for the people and thus France began its journey towards liberté, égalité and fraternité (freedom, equality and brotherhood), and the French Republic.
Although towns and villages all over France hold special events in celebration, some of France’s larger cities host events and spectacular firework displays on Bastille Day that are must-sees. Many second home owners in France often make sure that their summer holiday includes 14 July because it is such an enjoyable event. Here are three of the best Bastille Day events in France along with a local property suggestion for each.
1) Celebrate in the City of Light
Thousands of people flood into Paris to witness the incredible light and music show in the City of Light, for which the Eiffel Tower takes centre stage. A rambunctious music set plays alongside the skilful choreography of the lights on the Eiffel Tower and the fireworks, which start at 11pm. There is also the military parade on the Champs-Elysées, which starts from 9am, and the legendary balls, held at fire stations all over Paris, are being held from 9pm to 4am.
Property pick: Imagine being able to pop out and see the military parade in Paris, with no need for a car, metro or even a bicycle. This beautiful, luxury apartment (HH-7573115), which is located on the Champs-Elysées, could offer you exactly that. Set on the fourth floor of a stunning Haussmannian building, this charming four-bedroom apartment is a wonderful light-filled living space – and it is priced at €2,840,000.
2) Medieval magic in Carcassonne
With Carcassonne’s fairytale medieval castle as the setting for this city’s firework display, once seen you’re likely to come back again and again. The most popular spots from which to watch are the “Belvédère d’Auriac” stop on the motorway that gives you a panoramic view over the city; the bridges leading up to la Cité; and the riverbank. There are also some hotels and restaurants, such as Hotel des Trois Couronnes, which offer special menus on the night along with a prime viewing position.
Property pick: This exceptional 19th century stone property (HH-7507454), which is located in a village not far from Carcassonne, has been elegantly restored to become a dream countryside property. With a swimming pool and landscaped gardens, the exterior is impressive too, and there is also a guardian house and other outbuildings, including a stable that could be converted into living space. This elegant house has six bedrooms and is priced at €1,080,000.
3) Two days of celebration in Marseille
Electrifying is the word many use to describe the atmosphere and their experience watching the 14 July fireworks in the Marseille’s Vieux Port. But Marseille’s celebration actually spans two days and includes a folk parade and ball, and music and dancing at the Cours Honoré-d’Estienne-d’Orves. Those who wish to see the fireworks in a more relaxed setting can view from the Frioul Islands (a collection of four islands off the coast of Marseilles).
Property pick: Located on the famous Vieux Port and with a stunning view across it, this luxurious apartment (HH-8124278) must be one of the best places to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day in Marseille. A one-bedroom property with high quality interiors, it also has a wine cellar and a garage that can park three cars. It is on the market for €1,263,000.
To view more properties in these cities, visit www.home-hunts.com, but to speak with a consultant directly, contact the French office on: +33 (0)970 44 66 43