If you want to visit the Île de la Cité and the Sainte-Chapellelocated 12 minutes from the Relais du Louvre (read our article), we recommend that you start your visit with La Conciergerie, renovated in 2017 .
Until the 14th century, when royalty settled in the Louvre, the current Conciergerie was part of the Palais de la Cité, which was a royal palace. The Palais de la Cité became the kingdom's building for all judicial and administrative activity. The current Conciergerie gradually became a courthouse, then a prison. During the French Revolution, the prison was the most important penitentiary in the country. Up to 500 people wereimprisonedbetween 1793 and 1794, including Queen Marie Antoinette and revolutionaries such as Camille Desmoulins, Danton, and Robespierre.
The part belonging to the history of the French Revolution of 1789 underwent major renovation in 2017. The visit begins with the detainees' journey. The clerk, the concierge, the cells, the "toilet room" where the hair of convicts sentenced to the guillotine was cut. Next is a room with the names of 4,000 people detained before their appearance before the Revolutionary Court. One-third of the prisoners come out alive from prison. The Salle des Gens d'armes, which was initially the refectory of the very large staff of the Palace, is particularly admirable.
The Cour des Femmes, which has hardly changed since the Terror and the Expiatory Chapel. It was designed by Louis LVIII in memory of Marie Antoinette at the site of her cell until her departure for the scaffold on October 16, 1793.
Thanks to augmented reality, the HistoPad lets you travel through time and see the different 360° spaces as they were at different times, from the Middle Ages to the Revolution of 1789. Nothing has been invented. Everything has been documented and unlike the augmented reality headset, the IPad is not immersive and lets you stay in contact with your group.
We recommend that you purchase a combined ticket for the Conciergerie and Sainte-Chapelle. The queue at the Conciergerie is much shorter than Sainte-Chapelle, and it's smarter to start with the Conciergerie.
But to avoid any queues, it is best to buy your ticket online: http://www.paris-conciergerie.fr/Preparer-sa-visite/Informations-pratiques#tarifs