Conciergerie, Paris

Conciergerie - a former royal palace and prison, located on the Ile de la Cité. He is part of the Palace of Justice, which are municipal services, court and prosecutor's office. The palace was built in the VI century by the king of the Franks of Clovis and Paris for the first time became the official royal residence. In the era of the Carolingian Empire Center has moved to the east and monarchs abandoned palace. At the end of the tenth century, Hugh Capet, the first Capetian king, places in the palace council and administration. Thus, the castle once again became the residence of the French kings, and the capital of France - Paris. For four centuries Capet worked to transform their own fortress. Palace being completed, and strengthened, expanded, and the 13th century was the real center of power. And in the reign of Philip IV the Fair, he becomes one of the most luxurious palaces in Europe. In the middle of the XIV century, the Conciergerie ceases to be a royal residence. After a popular uprising, King Charles V the Wise moved to the Palace of Saint-Paul, and the building is occupied by the Parliament of the Conciergerie, the Chamber and the royal council. Since 1391 it also housed a prison, received the status of one of the most severe. During the French Revolution around 3000 convicts held in this building his last days, after which they were beheaded on Place de la Concorde, including Louis XVI and his wife Marie- Antoinette and Charlotte Corday, sentenced to death for the murder of Marat. Among prison inmates were also one of the leaders of the revolutionary movement of Maximilien Robespierre, the poet Andre Chenier Marie, writer Emile Zola, dancer and spy Mata Hari and many others. Manage the building and follow the order had the concierge who had numerous privileges and wielded great power, while the concierge had to live in the palace, which from that moment and began to call the Conciergerie. In the XIX century the Conciergerie prison closed and was given the status of a historical monument. Today the Palace is an architectural ensemble with diverse elements built between XIII to XX century. Since the time of Capet survived to our days two buildings : the royal chapel Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie. Both of these are architectural monuments and museums. Here you can visit the gallery of prisoners, which recreated the camera that era, see recreated prison Marie Antoinette ( her real camera at the request of Louis XVIII was converted into a chapel ). In addition, there are exhibits relating to the French Revolution.

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