Perhaps less known to tourists in the Conciergerie on the Île de la Cité in Paris. It’s famous for being Queen Marie-Antoinette‘s prison during the French Revolution. I visited after visiting the Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge.
The Conciergerie was part of the former royal palace, the Palais de la Cité, which consisted of the Conciergerie, Palais de Justice and the Sainte-Chapelle. Hundreds of prisoners during the French Revolution were taken from the Conciergerie to be executed by guillotine at a number of locations around Paris. More on the building’s history on Wikipedia.
It’s useful to have some knowledge of French history and the French Revolution when visiting the Conciergerie. A concierge in French is a janitor, by the way. But there are many explanations.
A tablet called ‘Histopad‘ helps you imagine life at several times of the building’s history. It’s very clever and motivates you to roam the rooms.
Highlight obviously is Marie-Antoinette’s prison cell before she was guillotined on 16th of October 1793.
A revolution hotspot, the Conciergerie is also a royal shrine. France is the most royal of republics.
Adjacent to the Conciergerie, there’s the Sainte-Chapelle or Holy Chapel. The chapel is a 13th Gothic edifice with many fleur-de-lys and Castille-style or (golden) castles on gules (red) background.