History of La Conciergerie and the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris City

Paris Walking Tours

Paris Tourist Attractions

The actual building of La Conciergerie was a Roman citadel during an age that predates Paris, which has been renovated several times over the years. It evolved into the Palais de la Cité during the Middle Ages. La Conciergerie in the Île de la Cité natural island was a royal palace until the 14th Century. It used to be a tribunal too and home to a medieval prison during the French Revolution, which imprisoned the Queen of France Marie-Antoinette.

The Sainte-Chapelle was constructed during the Bourbon Restoration period at the site of a revolutionary prison in what was once a royal palace. When on a Conciergerie tour, the highlight you should visit is the stained glass windows of the gothic-looking royal chapel.

The remains of the former palace that held the administration offices of the Parliament of Paris for thousands of years can still be seen in the interiors of La Conciergerie. Nowadays, the palatial home is also replete with the renovations by the kings including prison cells, hallways, and a torture room.

The grandeur of the building with a palatial ambiance and rich history will leave you in sheer admiration when you visit this place through Paris walking tours. The building on the island on the banks of the River Seine has come a long way since the fortress was erected by the Romans in the past.

The French Revolution in 1792 started to crumble the Bourbon dynasty and then the Queen of France Marie Antoinette was held captive in La Conciergerie prison. A legend has it that upon learning that the peasants were running out of bread, the queen uttered the words “Let them eat cake” instead, which was more expensive. No wonder the French hated Marie Antoinette.

The Queen of France was declared convict of treason by the Revolutionary Tribunal and was beheaded in the Place de la Révolution square with a guillotine in 1793. The French public called it the ‘Reign of Terror’. Besides the Queen, thousands of people were executed or killed during the French Revolution here due to the poor state of the prisons in Paris. Nowadays, the prison and the guillotine can be seen in the palatial home.

To evoke a sense of wonder during a visit here on Paris walking tours, also catch the thousands of Sainte Chapelle windows with decorative designs.