Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Concergerie - Mary Antionettes Prison

The month of museums continues with a visit to The Conciergerie, Fridays visit was quick and easy. The Conciergerie is located right on Ile de la Cité, bang in the centre of Paris and you might have passed it a million times without even realising what it is all about.

Another reason you might not have noticed this museum is the understated entrance,as its located just to the right of the much grander entrance to the Palais du Justice.
behind the news stand under the trees in the right of the picture.

So here is the summary, this historically significant building was a key player during the French revolution, as it was used as a temporary prison where prisoners were held usually for a couple of days before attending a trial and then having their head chopped off. No joking, a bit of beheading was very popular back in the day and to prove it they have even included a list of all the people who availed of the service.

Some very famous people were also kept here for longer periods, most notable Mary Antoinette, and you can visit an imitation of her cell. The original cell was modified since she occupied it due to modernisations. But the replica even includes the peeping tom style guards and fake Mary Antoinette.

The nicest space is definitely the hall of the men at arms, which apparently is one of the finest examples in Europe of Gothic secular architecture.

Anyway the visit was quick and enjoyable, a museum where you are looking at the rooms themselves and not all the objects located in that room. There is not any bicycle parking located around the area though and I just lashed mine onto the Metro entrance rails located across the road.

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