Beside its important sacred monuments, Notre-Dame and Sainte-Chapelle, Ile de la Cite accommodates also the Law Courts.
The beautiful stone buildings were erected by the Roman governors as administrative and military headquarters and witnessed important actions in France's history.
Following the French Revolution new courts were installed in the old buildings, taking also the name of Palais de Justice.
The Palais de Justice stands on the Ile de la Cité, where the ancient Roman city is supposed to have lied. The French kings lived in the castle until 1358, when they moved to the Louvre.
Its façade with Doric columns was built by Pierre Desmaisons and Jacques Antoine in 1786; it bears the revolutionary and, later, republican motto Liberté, égalité, fraternité ("Freedom, equality, brotherhood"). The gate in wrought iron that divides the courtyard from the street dates back to 1787. During the French revolution, the building was transformed into Palais de la Justice.
The French tricolour waves on the top of the palace, that has a beautiful dome, as you see in the photos of this tip.
The building complex of the Justice Palace, the Conciergerie, and Sainte-Chapelle is, since centuries, the political centre of France.
The beautiful gate, at the Boulevard du Palais, was made in year 1787.
The main entrance, with its column hall, is a work of art, from the time of Ludwig XVI.
On the tower of the northern corner of the palace, it is the first public clock of Paris that is brought here in the year 1371.
The actual decor of the clock stands from the sixteenth century.
The Palais de Justice, located next to the flower market, is built on the site of the former royal palace of Saint Louis, of which the Sainte Chapelle remains. The Palais also contains the ancient structure of the Conciergerie, a former prison, now a museum, where the Queen Marie Antoinette was imprisoned before being executed on the guillotine.
Thus the justice of the state has been dispensed at this site since medieval times. From the sixteenth century to the French Revolution this was the seat of the Parlement de Paris, the royal institution of justice.
El Palacio de Justicia, situado cerca del mercado de las flores, está situado donde el antiguo palacio real de San Luis, del que permanece la Santa Capilla (Sainte Chapelle). El Palacio también contiene la estructura de la antigua Conciergerie, una antigua prisión, ahora museo, donde la Reina María Antonieta estuvo prisionera antes de ser ejecutada en la guillotina.
La justicia del país se ha administrado en este lugar desde la Edad Media. Desde el siglo XVI hasta la Revolución Francesa fue la sede del Parlamento de París, la institución monárquica de justicia.
This is the cell where she spent some years before over to the Bastille to get the final cut. The family was imprisoned here from 1789 when the Revolution took over and Marie stayed here until the death in October 1793. The existing cell is only 1/2 of orginal size. Marie had her children with her and they were continually sick form being down underground, and usual strife of that era. She was still treated with some dignity and allowed to even venture out for charity events on occasion. Robespierre, the beginner for the Revolution was also in a cell here, but got guillotioned in a couple of years after 1789.
The main entrance is protected by an impressive golden grill with the French coat-of-arms. Behind them there is the Cour de Mai (May courtyard), called like this because ach year, to celebrate the first of May, a young oak tree was uprooted from the forest at Vincennes and brought in a procession by the palace staff to be planted in the May Courtyard.
The oak symbolizes the union of heaven and earth, God's justice and the justice of men, and therefore royal sovereign justice.
We take this courtyard in the way out from the Saint Chapelle. You can admire the great stone stairs inside it. They have four big columns with four allegoric sculptures: Fotitude, Abundance, Justice and Prudence.
La entrada principal está protegida por una impresionante cancela dorada don el escudo de Francia. Detrás de ella está el "Patio de Mayo", llamado así porque cada año el 1 de mayo, un roble joven trasplantado del bosque de Vincennes era llevado en procesión por el personal del Palacio y plantado en el patio. Este árbol simbolizaba la unión del cielo y la tierra, la justicia de Dios y la de los hombres, y en consecuencia la justicia soberana real.
Hay que tomar este patio para salir de la Santa Capilla. Se puede admirar las grandes escaleras de piedra. Tiene cuatro columnas con cuatro esculturas alegóricas: Fortaleza, Abundancia, Justicia y Prudencia.
On your way to the Notre Dame, coming from the metrostation "Cité", make some time to admire the Court House and the Holy Chapel.
They are located on the île de la Cité, one of the islands in the Seine. Here is where everything began 2000 years ago. The Parisii, a Celtic tribe lived here and gave their name to the city.
In the crypt of the Notre Dame (also on this island) , which can be visited, there are remains of this old settlement .
This is a picture of the Palais de Justice's courtyard "du Mai", with the Holy Chapel at the left. The evening is not really the best moment to make some pictures here. Around 10 am is better.
And while you're here, don't forget to stroll along the flower stalls on the Place Louis Lépine (see next tip).
This side is the Direction régionale de la police judiciaire de la Préfecture de police or, in other words, the Police in duty for the Juditial Power. In this side a like a lot the original squared tower with a small round tower attached to.
Este lado es el de la Dirección Regional de la Policía Judicial de la Prefectura de Policía o, en otras palabras, la polícia a cargo del Poder Judicial. En esta fachada me gusta mucho la original torre, que es cuadrada, pero tiene otra pequeñita torre redonda adherida.
This is the "newest" part of the building, along with the one facing the Place Dauphine. It's next to La Corciergerie and it house the Supreme Court of Appeal. Inside there is the Saint-Louis Gallery, built at the end of the XIVth century, allowed access from the king's residence to the Bonbec Tower and the Hall on the Water, both built for the king Saint Louis, whom the gallery is named after.
Esta es la parte "nueva" del edificio, junto con la que da a la Plaza del Delfín. Está junto a la Conciergerie y acoje el Tribunal de Casación. Dentro está la galería de San Luis, construida a fines del siglo XIV, permitía acceder desde la residencia del rey a la torre Bonbec y a la "sala sobre el Agua", construidas una y otra por el rey San Luis, a quien fue dedicada la galería.
Fortunatly, this side have been clean up recently and it's pretty white. This is the back side of the Palace and it faces the Place Dauphane, as well as Rue de Harlay, giving access to the Assize Court. This courtroom was built in the XIXth century and it's quite different that the rest of the building. It's clearly noticiable that it has been designed as a Court from the begining, with the lions and other more symbols.
Afortunadamente esta fachada ha sido limpiada recientemente y está muy blanca. Es la parte de atrás del Palacio y da a la Plaza del Delfín, así como al vestíbulo de Harlay. Desde aquí se va a la Sala de lo Criminal. Esta sala de audiencia fue construida en el siglo XIX y contrasta con el resto del edificio. Se ve claramente que desde el principio ha sido destinado a acoger un palacio de justicia, con los leones y demás símbolos.
The Palais de Justice is a huge turreted gothic building stretching the entire length of Ile de la Cite. This site has actually been inhabited since Roman times as the governer's residence.
As you can see it's gated off with no place to enter, however when it's open (Monday - Friday 10 am - 5 pm) citizens and tourists are allowed to view the trials. Napoleon can be thanked for this, his legacy of the French judicial system.
It's my son in the picture he wanted to see the Paris courthouse as he was returning to the US to start law school.
This large complex has housed France's court complex since the Middle Ages. Until the French Revolution it housed the Parliament of Paris. The complex contains the Conciergerie, the famous prison where Marie Antoinette was held in preparation for her execution by guillotine. The Conciergerie is today a museum. On the left side of the complex is the incredible Sainte Chapelle, which is probably one of the most beautiful churches anywhere.
This complex was once the Palace of St Louis (Louis IX) who lived from 1214-1270. He was the only canonized King of France, presumably for his participation in the 7th and 8th Crusades.
There was place of royal authority in distinguishing from right business coast Cite and left university coast. There was headquarters of parliamentary authority after departure of king in XIV w. but currently judicial authority. Today's building is mixture of architectonic elements from various epochs.
One of the four towers of the Palais de Justice is the Tour de l'Horloge (the Clock Tower)
This holds the first public clock, which was installed in 1334. You have to remember back then this was part of the Royal Palace, whereas today it is part of the Palais de Justice complex.
Before the French Revolution the silver bell would peal for 72 hours continously at the birth of a new member of the royal family. With the Revolution the silver bell was melted down.
The clock tower and clock was restored in 2012, so this will be my first opportunity to see it again.
Although some of the Palais de Justice uses structures in the Conciergerie, most of it dates from rebuilding finished in 1786 of the Cour de Mai with its beautiful gilded Louis XVI -style wrought-iron gate and the stairway. Filling out the North side incorporating the old elements and surrounding Ste. Chapelle occurred in the 19C along with the Vestibule on the West side which is the real “front door”. The South wing was only complete in 1913. In earlier times the King’s Justice was administered from the Cour de Mai.I do not know how difficult it is to get in any more. Decades ago I had no trouble. There is as you can see a check-point.This immense complex pleases most attorneys.