Paris, France : view on the Conciergerie from Pont d’Arcole
Most people, when they first come to Paris, tend to rush to the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame or Montmartre. Some who like paintings may also first visit the Louvre museum, or the Orsay museum. I’m not one of those. When I first came to Paris, I wanted to visit the Conciergerie.
This odd obsession with the Conciergerie began when I first saw a picture of the monument on the header of one of my friends’ Facebook page. In those days, I was particularly fond of medieval and renaissance architecture. Note that I’m still quite fond of it, by the way, but it’s not as much of an obsession as it used to be.
Thus, when I first came to Paris, I first went to Pont du Change to see the Conciergerie with my own eyes. I loved this building : it’s one of the oldest medieval monuments you can find in the city. It dates from the 13th century, when Louis IX of France, who’s also called Saint-Louis, for he was canonised in 1297, ordered the construction of the Babec Tower. It then became the centre of the French royal administration under the infamous Philippe Le Bel. The Tour de l’Horloge was built in 1353 under Jean II Le Bon, who was captured at the battle of Poitiers in 1356 by the Black Prince, despite the heroic defence of his son Philippe le Hardi, who would later be the first Duke of Burgundy.
However, it took me a year to finally visit the monument. The vaulted galleries inside the main building are incredibly well restored, and it’s difficult to imagine that this place once was the gloomy cell of Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France. However, I couldn’t enjoy the place in its full grandeur, nor could I take pictures since the administrators of the Conciergerie had decided that the place needed to host an exhibition of modern art.
In the end, if I were to advise someone regarding what monuments to visit in Paris, the Conciergerie would certainly be one of them. Not far from Notre-Dame de Paris and the Sainte-Chapelle, it’s definitely a place I enjoyed visiting. Don’t miss it !
Paris, France : the Conciergerie reflecting in the Seine river at sunrise
Paris, France : Conciergerie