With its castle-like turrets and dramatic riverfront location, La Conciergerie is an imposing sight, stretching along the west side of the Île de la Cité. Once part of the Palais de la Cité, along with the neighboring Palais de Justice and Sainte Chapelle, the former medieval palace is best known for its role in the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, when it served as a prison.
An estimated 3,000 prisoners were held at the Conciergerie prior to being taken to the guillotine during the Reign of Terror, among them Charlotte Corday, Madame Élisabeth, poet André Chénier and Marie Antoinette, and it continued to serve as a prison until it was decommissioned in 1914. Today, La Conciergerie is preserved as a National Monument and visitors can discover its dark legacy on a tour of the grounds, including the Prisoners’ Gallery, Marie-Antoinette’s dungeon, the Great Hall and the 14th-century Tour de l’Horloge, the Conciergerie’s 47-meter high Clock Tower, which displays Paris’ oldest clock.
The Conciergerie is located on Île de la Cité in central Paris, close to Notre Dame Cathedral, and is open daily from 9:30am-6pm. Adult admission at the time of writing is €8.50.