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The Conciergerie

ImageThe Conciergerie Palace on the Ile de la Cite was built in the 13th century and served as the royal palace until 1358.  It continued to be used for administrative purposes and as home of the General Assembly, but in 1391 part of it was converted into a prison.  The Conciergerie became notorious as a destination for France’s political prisoners, though common criminals were also held there.

During the Terror of the French Revolution, alleged enemies of the state were held here as they awaited the guillotine.  This is where Marie Antoinette spent her final days.  After the French Revolution, it continued to incarcerate high-profile prisoners, including the future Napoleon III.  It continued to serve as a prison until 1914.  Since then it has been a historical monument and popular tourist attraction.

The Conciergerie is still used by the French Department of Justice and only a small portion of the building is open to tourists.  It’s not really worth seeking out on its own unless you’re really interested in French history and the French Revolution.  A combo ticket with Saint-Chapelle is available, making entry more worth your while.

Website: http://www.conciergerie.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/
Metro: Cite (4)
Hours: Open every day except holidays 09:30-18:00
€7.00 Adults
Free for children under 18


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