Travel

Apartments of the king, prison, concert venue – Conciergerie Palace

We continue to tell about interesting sights of Paris, which you can visit during your stay in the French capital. Now the object of our attention is the magnificent building located on Ile de la Cité and known as Conciergerie Palais.

Its history dates back to the sixth century when the leader of united tribes of Franks King Clovis moved his main residence in a place that today known as Paris. To be more accurate, for this purpose he chose Cité island. As Clovis was a king so according to this status, he had decided to found the residence (palace) on the island. However, the king did not live here long, because he had died very quickly.

The next time the castle on Cité was a residence of the royal family in the tenth century when Paris had become the capital of France again.

Today, it is impossible to recreate the original appearance of Conciergerie, because since the construction it was constantly reinforced and restored by reason of regular fires.

The fourteenth century is important in the history of the palace, Conciergerie ceased to be the residence of French kings. After another peasant uprising it has been moved to famous now Louvre.

After a loss of such a high status the palace became a part of the architectural complex of the House of Justice. Even today the office of Paris prosecutor, as well as some city departments, is here. In principle, thanks to the move of the royal residence, the palace got its present name. Leaving the island, the monarch had left a part of his chancellery in the castle, and the chief concierge was ordered to manage remaining clerks. So, this is the reason for its name.

However, this was not the most notable event in the history of the castle. The most significant fact – Conciergerie palace was turned into a prison… This happened due to overcrowding of a jail situated nearby, and authorities decided to put criminals in a former royal residence. In 1391 the palace became a prison officially. Its most prisoners were sentenced to death, and the executions had been carried out right here.

There is and such a case in the history of the place. During the French Revolution in Conciergerie prison about three thousand persons (out of favour with new authorities) were executed after sentences by a famous judge of that time Fouquet-Tinville.

At various times “Guests” of the prison were as people of usual professions as representatives of scientific and art intelligentsia, noble aristocrats.

French queen Marie Antoinette was executed exactly here. She took a violent death only ten months later after the death of her husband. However, not only deposed monarchs had a chance to experience such a fate. Conciergerie became the last home for one of the main opponents of the monarchy, famous creator of the power of terror – Robespierre.

It only in 1914 official associations Conciergerie and a prison were severed after awarding the palace a status of architectural monument.

Despite such a dark history Conciergerie in Paris has a lot on what you can draw your attention, especially in architecture. For this reason we can always see many groups of tourists from different countries here. Last years the palace became the venue for numerous concerts and exhibitions.