Conciergerie (Paris)

Conciergerie Paris



1 Quai de l'Horloge

Tel. 01 53 40 60 97

Subway: Cite

Open: Apr- Sep: 9:30am- 6:30pm daily

Oct- Mar: 9am- 5pm daily

Closed: 1 Jan, 1 May, 1&11 Nov, 25 Dec


Description of Conciergerie

Conciergerie Paris  Conciergerie Paris

Conciergerie is a former palace of the Capetian kings that also served as a prison between 1391 and 1914. Former Capetian palace gained notoriety during the Great French Revolution then it served as a prison for enemies of the Republic. Most of them died under blade of the guillotine. Among 4000 unfortunate souls was former French queen Austrian born Marie- Antoinette who was executed here in 1793. Some of the most notable features of Conciergerie is a medieval 14th century clock tower and a beautiful Gothic Hall.


The pavilion of the Guard was built around 1310 and served as an antechamber to the Great Hall (classroom), which was the place where the king celebrated his solemn sessions of the Cortes and where receptions took place. The meals were served on a black marble table (of which there are some vestiges in the Conciergerie). It was an immense hall supported by a row of pillars that divided it into two vaults of paneled vaults. Walls and pillars were adorned with statues representing the kings of France. The pavilion of the soldiers was exceptional: 64 meters long by 27.5 wide with a height of 8.5 meters. It was built in 1302 and 1313 by Enguerrand de Marigny. It served as a refectory for the more than 2,000 people who were at the king's service. The east façade is in front of Barillerie street and, later, it was remodeled and finished. On the west side (in the direction of the current Vert-Galant point) the gardens were laid out. Behind the garden, the king's rooms were rebuilt. Phillip IV had the janitor's house built.

In the middle of the fourteenth century, John II had built the square pavilion that was destined for the king's servants built in the corner of the palace of the Cité. The four rooms located west of the soldiers' pavilion were isolated from the rest of the pavilion by gates and a wall. Shortly after John II built a tower in the northeast corner of the palace of the Cité, this rectangular tower was called "Clock Tower" because it was installed in the first public clock in France. In the second half of that century Charles V of France decided to leave the Palace of the Cité and settle in the palace of the Louvre whereas the widow of John II moved to the hôtel Saint-Pol; however, he maintained his administration (Parliament, House of Congress, Chamber of Commerce, Chancery) and appointed a janitor. In the Middle Ages, the Ministry became the prison of the palace. From that moment it was known as the prison of the Conciergerie. Charles VII of France installed in the Conciergerie the Parliament of Paris in the fifteenth century and Louis XVI built new buildings.

The Great Hall was the seat of the Revolutionary Court from April 2, 1793 to May 31, 1795 (it is currently the "hall of lost steps" of the Palace of Justice in Paris).