Conciergerie

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Located on the 'Île de la Cité' (Island in the historical centre of Paris), and surrounded by the Seine, the Conciergerie is the oldest witness of the 'Palais de la Cité' (The City Palace), first royal residence of the capital. As far back as the VIth century, Clovis settled his home on the island, Hugues Capet set his council and administration, Saint Louis let build the Sainte-Chapelle, a radiant gem of the Gothic period, and Philippe le Bel did likewise with the Paris Parliament. The name comes from 'Concierge', the lofty man of the kingdom who was appointed by the king to ensure order and to head the police and the prison registry. The Conciergerie was turned into a state prison in 1370, after Charles V abandoned the palace.This prison was the one where scores awaited death during the French Revolution, among them Marie-Antoinette, whose cell -in which she lived her last days- is open to the visitors nowadays. This masterpiece of the Medieval architecture, that rises with elegance, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The magnificent preserved Gothic hall such as the "Gens d’Armes" room built between 1302 and 1313 are the biggest indoor medieval space in Europe, with raising and falling vaults, squared ceilings, magnificently sculpted relieves. The square tower in the North-East side of the palace, 47 m. in height, with walls that are over 1 m. thick, features since 1370 the first public clock of Paris