Île de la Cité Off The Beaten Path

  • Tour de l'horloge
    Tour de l'horloge
    by mariev
  • The Prefecture de Police building
    The Prefecture de Police building
    by mariev
  • The end of the island and the quai
    The end of the island and the quai
    by mariev

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Île de la Cité

  • mariev's Profile Photo

    Le Palais de Justice

    by mariev Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rue de Harlay
    4 more images

    The huge Palais de Justice (law courts) occupies more than 4 hectares, 1/3 of the island.

    As French justice is rendered before public (bar childrens’ trials) and everyone is free to attend, the place attracts lots of people (about 15 000 a day). The visitors' access (common with Sainte Chapelle) is strictly controlled and you can get long queues.

    The history of the Palais is linked to the history of the 1st french royal family : it was their home for a long time:
    Robert II (ca 1000) had the initial palace built. Louis VI added the dungeon. Louis IX the Sainte-Chapelle, .... until Philippe IV (ca 1300) had the palace totaly remodeled.

    The kings used to live there, until Charles V chosed other residences (Louvre, Vincennes). He still kept the palace and even had Paris' first public clock set on the Tour de l’Horloge.

    Several fires happened (1618, 1737,1776) and the Revoultion took its toll.

    In 1858, the lobby was restored as the Caesar Tower (built over Roman vestiges), the Silver Tower (where the royal treasury was kept during the reign of LouisIX), the Bonbec Tower (where prisoners were tortured to obtain... a "bon bec" - expression equivalent to"sing like a canary" - and give the “right” answers). The Cour d’Assises, the Auction Chamber and the library were constructed.
    The remnant of the king's residence (from the XIth century) was torn down in 1868. During the Commune, the palace was (again) set ablaze and rebuilt under the 3rd Republic.

    Today, the 1st chamber of the High Court is at the same place than the old Parlement's chamber.
    The Harlay Hall facing place Dauphine, gives access to the Cour d’Assises and the Criminal Court Chambers are between the Sainte-Chapelle and Quai des Orfèvres

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mariev's Profile Photo

    Quai des Orfevres

    by mariev Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Prefecture de Police building
    4 more images

    An address known by all cinema goers,TV watchers and mystery novels readers in France : The Quai des Orfèvres hosts, in a huge 19th century building, the headquarters of the criminal police (Police Judiciaire) and has become the nickname of the french Scotland Yard or FBI equivalent.

    The first film featuring it was Henri Georges Clouzot’s Quai des Orfevres in 1947, others followed, as did many popular novels/TV series (“Les 20 dernieres minutes”,and the famous “Commisaire Maigret” serie, …)
    Each year, since 1946, a literary price the ‘Prix du Quai des Orfevres’ is attributed by the Prefet de Police to a french language mystery novel

    The quay itself got its name from the goldsmiths and jewellers who used to live and work there in the 16-18th centuries (and, before, the place was occupied - since the 7th century - by the Abbaye Saint Martial, funded by Saint Eloi, the goldsmith’s’ saint protector).

    The length situated between the Pont Neuf and the former rue de Jerusalem was built around 1600 and was called Quai des Orfevres from the beginning, the part reaching the pont Saint Michel was formerly the rue Saint Louis.

    The Police Judiciaire (created in 1924) is situated Quai des Orfèvres in a building belonging to the Palais de Justice (even if it was initially intended to be a barrack for the Garde Republicaine) and rebuilt after being burnt down during the Commune in 1871.

    The musee de la Police, previously situated on the quai des Orfevres has moved at 4, rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève (5th)

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mariev's Profile Photo

    The oldest parisian clock

    by mariev Updated Jan 27, 2008
    Tour de l'horloge

    Situated on a wall of the Tour de l'horloge (at the corner Boulevard du Palais/Quai de l'horloge), is the oldest public clock in Paris.

    The first clock set here in 1370 (created by a german arist : Henri de Vic, ordered by Charles V), it was replced under Henri III by the one you can see now.

    The clock was restaured in 1852 and is still working fine.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mariev's Profile Photo

    Hotel Dieu : the eldest hopital in France

    by mariev Updated Aug 28, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    From the parvis of Notre Dame
    2 more images

    Founded in 651, the Hotel Dieu is the oldest french hospital, it is also the only one in the center of Paris.

    But the building is old, (even if it is not the original one, wich was situated on the other side of Notre Dame cathedral (where now stands a satue of Charlemagne in a little square) and difficult to maintain in whatever conditions a modern hospital needs.

    Add to that some facts, like :
    - The new Hopital Pompidou has been built to relay this one.
    - The nearby Prefecture de Police needs more room
    - The APHP (Assistance Publique - Hopitaux de Paris) who operates the parisians hospitals needs money
    the Hotel Dieu is now in danger to be closed despite the neighbours and medical staff protests.

    Beside, the Hotel Dieu has a very confidential specificity : there is a small hotel inside (initially intended for the hospitalised persons' relatives, it can - when rooms are available - accept travellers.
    If you are interested :
    l'Hospitel

    Address :
    1, place du Parvis Notre Dame - 75004 Paris
    Metro : Cite or Hotel de Ville
    RER B : Saint Michel Notre Dame

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mariev's Profile Photo

    Ile de la Cite - The Flower Market

    by mariev Updated Aug 28, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Aromatic plants on display
    1 more image

    Situated Place Louis Lepine, on the Ile de la Cite, aproximatly in front of the Sainte Chapelle and along the Quai de la Corse, this is one of the last flower markets in Paris (there are 2 other ones : along the church of La Madeleine (in the 8th) and Place des Ternes (in the 17th) ).

    It is opened from monday to saturday, from 8am to 7pm (on sundays, the birds' market (also selling rodents) is held at this location).

    The main specialities (aside the fresh flowers) are the trees, the aromatic plants and the orchids.

    To reach it :
    RER Saint-Michel Notre Dame
    Metro Cite.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • Carmela71's Profile Photo

    Square infront Notre Dame

    by Carmela71 Updated Feb 2, 2004

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You may know how much I like this style of Lights, I had photos of them in many places, but here I could not avoid stop and photo them, at the end if the Police department (Pref Police)

    Was this review helpful?

  • Carmela71's Profile Photo

    Place Dauphine

    by Carmela71 Updated Feb 2, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Place Dauphine in between Pont Deneuf and the Palais de Justice.

    In this little square you can find peace and tranquillity after a long day walking (our feet needed a break....) so we ended sitting in a nice terrace on this square, see Restaurant tip for the name.

    Lovely place ...

    Was this review helpful?

  • Carmela71's Profile Photo

    KM 0

    by Carmela71 Updated Feb 2, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As it happens in other cities the km 0 is located not very well sign, and not in gret conditions, but I have to say that better ones that the one in Madrid.

    It is just in front of Notre Dame de Paris

    Was this review helpful?

  • Carmela71's Profile Photo

    Crypte archéologique de Notre Dame de Paris

    by Carmela71 Updated Feb 2, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It is situated in the square of Notre Dame, if you are not looking at it, you can miss it, and for lovers of roman ruins of archaeology can be very interesting.

    Also included on the Paris Museum pass

    Was this review helpful?

  • Carmela71's Profile Photo

    Statue of Carlomagno

    by Carmela71 Updated Feb 2, 2004

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At the Notre dame square you can also see the statue of Carlomagno.

    There is nothing as sitting in this square and watching the people from all nationalities

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Île de la Cité

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

112 travelers online now

Comments

Île de la Cité Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Île de la Cité off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Île de la Cité sightseeing.

View all Île de la Cité hotels