Aug 17, 2009

La Conciergerie et Le Pont de Nôtre Dame

La Conciergerie(The Conciergerie) is a section of the Palais de Justice which was used as a former royal palace and prison in Paris. Located on the west of the Île de la Cité, near the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.Thousand of prisoners were taken from La Conciergerie to be executed on the Guillotine at a number of locations around Paris in revolutionary times.The most famous prisoners (and victims) included Queen Marie Antoinette, the poet André Chénier, Charlotte Corday, Madame Élisabeth, Madame du Barry and the Girondins, who were condemned by Georges Danton, who was in turn condemned by Robespierre, who was himself condemned and executed in a final bout of bloodletting. En route to the tumbrils, the victims walked through the Salle Saint-Louis, (Saint Louis Room), which acquired the nickname of the Salle des Perdus, the "Room of the Doomed".

The buildings which form this prison still retain the hideous character of feudal times. The préau presents a kind of area or court, one hundred and eighty feet in length by sixty in breadth, round which is a gallery leading to the cells, and communicating by stairs to the upper storeys. It was partly constructed in the thirteenth century, and partly rebuilt in modern times, and is ten or twelve feet below the level of the adjacent streets; it serves as a promenade for the prisoners. The dungeons, which have not been used for the last thirty years, are twenty-three feet in length by eleven and a half in height.

Interieur de La Conciergerie

Escalier en colimacon de La Conciergerie

Marie Antoinette's cell was converted into a chapel dedicated to her memory

Station on Paris metro: Cité