La Conciergerie, Paris
Since the medieval halls have been restored in the year 2000 and new lightings installed the Conciergerie is really spectacular and worth the visit. Surprising is the fact that the floor of these halls from the 14th century is well below street level. In the 19th c. the embankments of the nearby Seine were raised as well as the rest of the Île de la Cité.
The huge hall build under Philippe le Bel in the begin of the 14th c. is called salle des Gens d'Armes and is a fine example of Gothic secular architecture.
It was heated by four large fireplaces still existing. Behind on the right is the Guards room.
The name "Conciergerie" dates from the end of 14th c. when King Charles V left this residence for the Louvre Palace. He appointed a concierge (steward) endowed with legal powers to run the former palace transformed a century later into a prison. This part is again spectacular.
In a part of the Conciergerie reconstructions of some rooms of the prison under the Revolution can be seen like the clerk's and concierge's offices, the room where condemned prisoners were stripped of their personal belongings and had their hair cut in their neck before being grouped by twelve in the courtyard where a cart would take them to the scaffold with the guillotine.
Actually there were many more cells than these few reconstitutions. Up to 600 prisoners could be kept in the prison.
Best known prisoner was Queen Marie-Antoinette. Her cell, as can be seen now, is a reconstitution on part of the actual site of her dungeon. Marie-Antoinette remained 76 days at the Conciergerie. When she was called in front of the Revolutionary Tribunal on October 14, 1793; she was a sick woman with grey hair.
From here, hands bind in her back, in a dirty open cart, she was taken to the Place de la Révolution, now Place de la Concorde, to be beheaded.
Open every day: 9h30 - 18 h
Closed: 1/1, 1/05, 25/12.
Price (2011) 7,0 €
Reduced price 4,50 € 18 - 25 years. Free till 17 years old.
Combined ticket with la Sainte Chapelle : 11 € and 7,50 €.
Favorite thing: La Concierge was a prison during the revolution and the Queen, Marie-Antoinette, spent her last days here before going to the guillotine. Nowadays, it's a museum, giving a history of the revolution. Inside, you can see reconstructed cells, where prisoners spent their final hours.
Favorite thing: Ancienne prison sous la Révolution, c'est d'ici que les condamnés, partaient pour la guillotine. On peut y voir reconstituée, la cellule de la reine Marie-Antoinette.
I took this picture of support pillars in the basement of the prison where Marie Antoinette was held before being guillotined.
Her main crime was perhaps being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Favorite thing: La Conciergerie is the oldest prison in Paris. Many revolutionist stayed there such as Marie-Antoinette,Danton,Saint-Just.
Favorite thing: visit the gothic La Conciergerie. The extravagant Marie Antoinette (wife of King Louis XVI) was imprisoned here and eventually beheaded during the French Revolution....