Paris is one of those cities which offer at every corner a monument, a museum, a testimony … And during your Parisian stays, you can hesitate before choosing your visit. That’s why we decided to talk to you about an exciting place located in the deep heart of the city: the Conciergerie.
This building is the oldest vestige of the Palais de la Cité, and it can be seen on the Ile de la Cité, next to the Palais de Justice and the sumptuous Sainte-Chapelle. The Conciergerie is known to have been a royal residence from the 10th to the 14th century, the seat of the Parliament and the Revolutionary Prison. During the Terror, prisoners of the Conciergerie were for the most part taken to the Guillotine. The most famous inmate remains Marie-Antoinette, named on the walls of the Conciergerie: “Tyrant’s wife.”
The visit of the Conciergerie is particularly interesting because it combines the beauty of a place and history. The route begins with the gigantic Salle des Gardes, formerly the refectory of the Palais. we admire the pillars, the beginning of an old stone staircase, the height of the ceiling, which, moreover, permitted during the revolution to install a floor at half height in order to double the capacity of the prisoners.
The rue de Paris designates the corridor and the cells on each side. Reconstructions present the different treatments reserved for prisoners according to their social class. We walk into the Grand Préau, formerly the king’s garden, and the Women’s Court, allowing our imagination to wander freely in front of the fountain and the “side of the Twelve”, where the 12 condemned to death met to say good-bye to their relatives.
The Registrar’s Office and the Toilet Room teach us the daily life of the prison. Finally Marie-Antoinette’s first and second cells plunge us into the last moments of the queen.
The visit of the Conciergerie can be combined with the one of the Sainte-Chapelle, another wonderful monument of the City.
La Conciergerie – Everyday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm – Rate: 9€.