La Conciergerie

Published Friday, 10 February 2012 by Sydney Sunny

In a continuation of my day after Saint Chapelle, Marine and I set out to Notre Dame. However, we found the Tours de Notre Dame closed due to climate. I have to say, it was chilly to the bone! So, we turned around and walked back to where we came. Right beside Saint Chapelle is the La Conciergerie.

La Conciergerie turned into a prison from a palace.

From what I understand, the La Conciergerie was a formal royal palace and Saint Chapelle was the royals’ place of worship. However, the palace was left for the Louvre in the late 1350’s. Finally, in 1390’s the palace became a prison – what it is most famous for in history.  Ironically, these palace prisons  held the royals of France during the French Revolution, such as the famous or infamous Queen Marie Antoinette. Here, the prison held the poor people about to have their heads cut off at the now famous Concord area behind the Louvre.

Cells for the prisoners.

The modern La Conciergerie has an open part for tourist! Marine and I walked along the hall of prison cells. Each cell was set up as a scene. There was a cell for the keeper of keys and activities of the prisoners. There were three types of cells for the prisoners. One can choose to pay a great deal of money to have a nice cell, which included a bed, desk, and chair (sounds like my dorm room in France). The next choose was to pay less money for a bed, and the last choice was pay nothing and have nothing. Near the door, their was a room where the prisoners were prepared for the guillotine. It is horrifying!

The window in Marie Antoinette's cell in her honor.

As for the most famous prisoner, Marie Antoinette, the large cell where she waited for her trail can be viewed. There is a stained glass window done in her honor. In the short video at the end, I learned that Marie Antoinette’s trail lasted two days. Being found guilty, she was taken to the guillotine the next day. HORRIFYING!
Thus, I learned another thing, do not piss off the French public.


The currant exposition is called BÊTES OFF. It was a little too much for my and Marine’s taste, but here is a few pictures of the things I liked.


A Knitted Giraffe!


A Whale!


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