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La Conciergerie

Once a royal residence, the Conciergerie became a prison during the French revolution, a notable prisoner being Marie-Antoinette.

TravelCurious Tip

There’s a rather interesting film called Marie Antoinette, starring Kirsten Dunst and directed by Sofia Coppola. Check it out: it’s a stylised way into the history of the place

La Conciergerie is one of the iconic sights in Paris. Its medieval origin is clear from its architecture, and indeed this was once the royal palace, the Palais de la Cité, named after the island in the middle of the river Seine. In the 14th century it was abandoned by the monarchy and became a seat of administration, parliament and justice until the French Revolution.


Then the parliament was abolished and a revolutionary tribunal was established in its former rooms. Thus, La Conciergerie became a prison, funnelling captives to the Tribunal, where they were sentenced, more often than not, to death by guillotine.


A Special Guest

The prisoners held there were largely from the upper echelons of pre-revolution French society. Indeed, they held one especially privileged captive: Marie-Antoinette. The Queen became desperately unpopular as rumours went around that her lavish spending had bankrupted the country. She too was executed eventually. Her last words were supposedly “Pardon me, sir, I meant not to do it,” talking to Henri Sanson the executioner, whose foot she had accidentally trodden on.


La Conciergerie is open to visitors now and it has lost nothing of its medieval air. The Hall of the Men in Arms is splendid, and the Women’s Yard seems barely to have changed since the days of the revolution. You can even trace the last footsteps those hundreds of prisoners would have taken as they trudged up to the guillotine.


Quite apart from the gruesomeness of the Reign of Terror, the Sainte-Chapelle is an exquisite little Gothic chapel in the Palais de la Cité that was built during the 13th century. King Louis IX commissioned it to house his collection of relics, including Christ’s Crown of Thorns. It’s stained glass was recently restored and is among the most beautiful in the world.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
Île de la Cité
This island in the middle of the River Seine is the historical heart of Paris.
Pont Neuf
Built to ease traffic congestion in the early 17th century, this iconic five-arch bridge is Paris' oldest bridge.
Place St-Michel Fountain
One of the city's most well-known meeting places, the statue depicts the archangel Michael vanquishing the Devil.
Place-Dauphine
One of the prettiest, most peaceful locations in Paris, the square is a hot-spot for families, dog walkers and petanque players.
Shakespeare and Co Bookshop
A legendary meeting place and boarding-house for many aspiring writers. Stocks everything from Shakespeare to Joyce.
Rue du Chat qui Peche
Considered the narrowest street in Paris with only 1.80mts wide for the whole of its 29mts.

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During this fabulous four hour walking tour of Paris you will explore the most interesting and diverse central neighbourhoods the French capital has to offer. See the sights at your own pace and adapt your tour with your guide who will be happy to offer suggestions based on your preferences. 

  • Visit the historical heart of Paris,  Île de la Cité.
  • See the Sainte-Chappelle chapel and the former Paris prison, the Conciergerie.
  • Pay a visit to the symbolic Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.
  • Explore the wonderful haunts of the Latin Quarter, just a short walk away.
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  • End your walking tour at the stunning Pont Alexander III bridge.

Medieval Paris

One of the two remaining natural islands in the Seine, the Île de la Cité, is considered the historic heart of Paris. The medieval city of Paris was refounded here with magnificent Sainte-Chapelle and the former prison, the Conciergerie. While on Île de la Cité, you will have time to walk around the hauntingly beautiful Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.

The Latin Quarter along the Left Bank was so named because, until the French Revolution, university students in the area spoke only Latin to their professors. You will visit this famed neighbourhood to immerse yourself in the Parisian atmosphere of yesteryear, whilst exploring the medieval streets and meandering through fantastic shops like Shakespeare and Company bookstore, Place Saint-Michel, and its gorgeous fountain.

City of Revolution 

As the tour continues, you will learn little known facts about the French Revolution. You will be exploring the beautiful Tuileries Gardens and the Place de la Concorde, the site at which Louis XVI was beheaded during the French Revolution. Whilst here do not forget to look out for the magnificent Champs-Elysées, the most famous shopping avenue in the world. Lastly, you will stop off at the Pont Alexander III, the most beautiful bridge in Paris, where you can enjoy a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower and beyond to the majestic Seine. J’aime Paris.
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Please note that this tour is composed of a 2 hour private walking tour followed by a 1 hour river cruise with on board commentary. Your tour guide will not accompany you on the cruise. You can chose to take the cruise at the end of the tour or later during your stay. Please note that the river cruise arrives at the foot of the Eiffel Tower but does not allow passengers to disembark at the Eiffel Tower. You will start and end your cruise in Central Paris.
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On this Live Virtual Tour, you will learn first-hand what locals love about Paris from someone who knows the place inside-out. You will virtually travel to Ile de la Cité, the oldest settlement in Paris located right in the middle of the city, which holds one of the most visited attractions in the world: Notre Dame Cathedral.

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The Île de la Cité is one of the two remaining natural islands in the Seine river, and it's considered the historic heart of Paris. The medieval city of Paris was refounded here with magnificent Sainte-Chapelle and the former prison, the Conciergerie. Notre Dame Cathedral was consecrated to the Virgin Mary and is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. You will be admiring it's magnificent façade as you hear the stories of Medieval Paris and Gothic Architecture style in which the Cathedral was built.
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