La Conciergerie

Imposing medieval fortress is the infamous prison of the French Revolution. Here, prisoners including Marie-Antoinette and Robespierre were kept in dank cells while awaiting their fate. The Salle des Girondins displays relics of the bloody days of the Terror, including a guillotine blade, prison regulations, and a copy of Marie-Antoinette’s last letter.

The Salle des Gens d’Armes is a vaulted Gothic hall of awesome proportions. In this forbidding room, the condemned prisoners were handed over to the executioner. For an exceptional view of the building’s Neo-Gothic facade, stand on the opposite side of the Seine River on the Quai de la Mégisserie. From this distance, with its three round towers and the Tour de l’Horloge (Clock Tower), the fortress resembles a fairy-tale castle rather than a penitentiary. The Conciergerie is now open to the public as a museum. It’s possible to purchase a combined entry ticket for the Conciergerie and Sainte-Chapelle.

 

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