|Brief reminder of Part 1 (without mistake ) :
Until the Middle Ages, the seat of the monarchy was the Palais de la Cité. Various kings enlarged and embellished this royal residence, whose fame spread throughout Europe.
When the Palais de la Cité was atacked in 1358, the royal family fled and decided to move to the Louvre. The concierge of the palace was apointed as administrator, responsible for the judicial organisation and the prison. This appointment gave rise to the new name of the castle : the Conciergerie, which was to become the law, prison and revolutionary court. Coutless prisoners were cramed into the 10 m2 cells.
But the most famous prisoner was Queen Marie Antoinette, who was kept for 40 days (some authors say 70 days ) in a cell with no conforts, then sentenced to death. The Conciergerie was a prison until the eve of the First World War in 1914.
Today, the Conciergerie and the lawcourt cover an area of 6 hectares. More than 10000, lawyers, prosecutors, litigants and tourists wander through a labyrinthe made of 25 km of corridors.
Despite this ancien vestige of a rich but eventful past, the Conciergerie is little visited because of its less than glorieus past.
Now, this great Parisian monument represent a remarkable point in the capital with its imposing stature and its medieval architecture, standing along the quays of the Seine. At night, its illuminations sparkle and no one remains unafected by the beauty of its façades.
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