September 3rd, 2010 – by: bipbipouai
decoration of the low chapel, clover figuring the 12 apostle
The Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle are both located on the historic center of Paris the island of la Cité. Both monuments where part of the first royal Palast. The first king of France Clovis settled there in the VI century. Five century later another King Hugues Capet located his administration and council in the Palast. The palast become the center of the royal power. The building still host a justice court and prison cell as it has during the monarchy. That's why the security check-in to enter the area is quite long (about one hour queu to enter the sainte chapelle).
The Sainte chapelle was built by Saint Louis (King Louis IX) to welcom the "Holy Relic" of the Christ's Passion, the main one was the Prickle Crown.
the choir of the low chapel (Sainte chapelle)
The relic where bought for a huge amount by the King to raise the prestige of France in the Middle-Age Europ. Paris at that time become a new Jerusalem, and the Sainte Chapelle is built to recreate the heavenly Jerusalem descibed in the Bible. During the revolution the Chapel was degradated as a symbol of the Divine Right of Kings, it received serious renovation in the XIX century and the relic where removed and placed in the cathedral. Still today the visit give you the impression to be in the heavenly Jerusalem, the coloured light going through the church window is impressive and exceptionnaly beautifull.
The Conciergerie is located a few meters away from the sainte chapelle, most of the middle age structure to be seen is in the basement. Since the King Charles V the King moved out of the Conciergerie and gave the authority to an Intendant or Concierge to administrate the Palast and its Prison, the main point of the visit is the prison itself.
roof of the low chapel of the sainte chapel
A lot of political and famous prisoners where judged and detained here during the monarchy and during the Revolution it became the centre of the Terror. What we called the Terror is the period from 1793 to 1794 where more than 2700 people where convicted of being People's enemy and judged in the Palast most of them where then condamned to an immediate execution (about a dozen execution a day). The visit of the museum offers a retrospective of this period with biography of former prisoners and visit of the cells. I found it rather interesting but I would suggest non french speaker to take an audioguide.