La Conciergerie is a building located on the west side of the Île de la Cité in central Paris, close to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, which in the past functioned as a royal palace and also as a prison. It belongs to the large complex of buildings known as the Palais de Justice which houses various courts, including the Paris Court of Appeal, the French Court of Cassation, and the Tribunal de grande instance.
In the early 14th century, the building of the Conciergerie functioned as a royal palace and was known as the Palais de la Cité. It was the residence of Phillippe le Bel and in the Middle Ages it was considered one of the greatest palaces in the world. However, at the end of the 14th century, Charles V and the Capetian kings decided to reside in Louvre and Vincennes, and so the fate of La Conciergerie was handed over to the Parliament which used it as the administrative offices of the kingdom. The concierge, the keeper of the royal palace, was entrusted with taking care of the palace, and thus the building received its new name. In 1391 the palace was transformed into a prison for political and common criminals. During the French Revolution, hundreds of prisoners from La Conciergerie were executed by beheading on the guillotine. Also, the building housed the Revolutionary Tribunal, in which opponents of the French revolution were tried for the crimes against the state. Among the prisoners kept in the Conciergerie before the execution was Marie Antoinette. After the Revolution, the Conciergerie continued to function as a prison for some of the most important political convicts, such as Napoleon III.
Although in the 19th century the building underwent numerous renovations, three towers of the Conciergerie have been preserved from the Middle Ages: the Silver Tower, in which the royal treasure was stored, the Caesar Tower, named in honour of the Roman emperors, and the Bonbec Tower, which housed a torture chamber. In the 20th century the Conciergerie was opened to the public and listed as a national historic monument. Today, it is still a very popular tourist attraction.
|Neighbourhood||Notre-Dame (4th Arrondissement - l'Hôtel-de-Ville)|
|Price||normal : 7.00 child : 0.00 (age <7) youth : 0.00 (age 7-18) disabled : 0.00 (%) special cheap : 4.50|
|Geographical coordinates||48.8561480, 2.3458680|
|Address||75001 Paris, Bd du Palais|
|More information||official website|