Conciergerie

Arrondissement 1

Number: 1-7 Quai de l’Horloge

From the 10th to the 14th century France’s principal Royal palace was on the Cité island in the centre of the Seine. Sometime in the early 12th century the ‘Great Tower’ was built on the North of the island, on what is now the Quai de l’Horloge. Beneath it prisoners were tortured and by the late 14th century it was turned into a prison.

During the Terror under the French Revolution the prison was where many were jailed and tried prior to their executions. Among the more (in)famous were Marie-Antoinette, the 23 Girondins (radical constitutional monarchists) and Robespierre himself.

In August 1815 Marshal Ney was jailed there for supporting Napoléon during the One Hundred Days before Waterloo. Tried for treason by French lords on December 6 he was shot the next day near the Luxembourg Garden.

Wounded In the head during the May 12 1839 Insurrection of the Seasons, Barbes was taken to the Conciergerie’s infirmary.

After the failure of his attempted Boulogne coup d’État of August 1840, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte and his fellow conspirators were first jailed in the Conciergerie.

Many of those arrested but not shot during the June 1848 workers’ insurrection were imprisoned in this jail before being tried.

The prison was finally decommissoned in 1914.

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