Address: 2, Boulevard du Palais, Paris 1
Hours: Open everyday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. Last entry 30 min before closing. Paris Conciergerie is closed January 1, May 1 and December 25
Fees: Adult 9 € – Under 18: free
Phone: +33 (0)1 53 40 60 80
La Conciergerie, located at Ile de la Cité, is the oldest part of the first royal Gothic palace in Paris. It first started as a Merovingian palace and continued to be occupied by Medieval kings. The most notable expansions were done under Louis IX (Saint Louis), who was in charge from 1226-1270, and Phillip the Fair, who reigned from 1285-1314.
It was not until 1358 that the Conciergerie was left in favor of the Louvre by Charles V.
In 1394, the Conciergerie was turned into a prison for criminals as well as political prisoners.
During the French Revolution, La Conciergerie became very famous as it held prisoners to be guillotined during the Reign of Terror. Unfortunately, for about two years, the Great Hall was used by a Tribunal who sent most of the prisoners to their death bed. Marie Antoinette was one of the unlucky ones held at the Conciergerie. Later on, Napoleon III spent time in this prison as well. During the 19th century, the Conciergerie was extensively renovated, which gave it its current look. Currently, La Conciergerie is part of the Palais de Justice of Paris. As a result, not all portions of this massive architecture are open to the public.
Particularly worth visiting may be Marie Antoinette’s cell, where she was kept a prisoner in the dungeon, and the Hall of Men at Arms, one of the finest Gothic architecture lit by 2 large windows and heated by 4 fireplaces.