28 August 2013

La Conciergerie in three photos

Still from the top of the Tour Saint-Jacques, on the right bank (the north bank of the Seine) in Paris: La Conciergerie. It was part of old royal palace that used to occupy the western end of the Ile de la Cité, and was then replaced by the Louvre.

Actually, I took this photo at street level, from across the Seine on the right bank.

The concierge in this case was an official, appointed by the king, who held the keys to the royal complex and managed the estate. The Conciergerie building — refurbished, modified, rebuilt at various times over the centuries, like most old buildings — came to be used as a prison.

In this shot, you can see the spire of the Sainte-Chapelle, the modern Tour Montparnasse,
the Église Saint-Sulpice, and the Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Among its famous prisoners have been Ravaillac, the fanatic who assassinated Henri IV in 1610 and, nearly two centuries later, of course, Marie Antoinette, who ended up on the guillotine during the Revolution.

In this shot, you can see past the Théâtre du Châtelet all the way out to the Eiffel Tower, including the gold dome of the Invalides church,
the old Pont Neuf, and the Pont des Arts pedestrian bridge across the Seine at the Louvre.

The history of the building is pretty complicated. The square bell tower at its northeast corner was erected in the 14th century. The three round towers are older, but the whole façade was redone in the 19th century. A 1976 Michelin Green Guide that I happen to have says that the exterior walls had recently been cleaned. Well, they have been cleaned again just a few decades later.


  1. La Conciergerie looks a lot cleaner than when I last saw it.

  2. I love the centuries-long process of change on the buildings there (and here). Beautiful photos, of course!

  3. Beautiful photos. You had great weather.
    (La Tour de l'Horloge is in the northeast corner of the building, isn't it?)

  4. my favorite paris building....finally went inside not too long ago....not much to see .....but impressive because of all its history and age

  5. Dean, oops! Merci.

    Melinda, I've never been inside but maybe one day.

  6. We are still enjoying your view from the top of the Tour Saint-Jacques. I love the three older round towers.

    Home now from a couple of weeks in Scandinavia with perfect weather. I'm lucky to have not gotten hit by all the bikers and fit folk up North. Saw some very tall men and women. Maybe it's the salmon and herring and snaps ;-)

  7. Ken, wonderful photos and bits of history!

  8. Your new banner is very colorful!

    Nice view of the Conciegerie. I have always thought that is one of the "most frenchiest" of buildings in Paris (like there aren't many more!).

  9. Lovely new banner photo :-).

    Never visited La Conciergerie but it looks a lot cleaner than the last time I was in Paris.

  10. I noticed it was looking very spiffy and sparkly the last time we were in Paris.


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