France, Paris, the Palais de Justice and the Conciergerie
Paris is the capital and primate city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. The history of Paris spans over 2500 years, during which time the city grew from a small Gallic settlement to the multicultural capital.
The Conciergerie is a former royal palace and prison, located on the west of the Île de la Cité, near the cathedral of Notre-Dame. It is part of the larger complex known as the Palais de Justice, which is still used for judicial purposes.
The Île de la Cité was occupied by the Romans during late antiquity. Later, the west part of the island was the site of a Merovingian palace; and from the 10th to the 14th centuries was the seat of the medieval Kings of France. Under Louis IX (Saint Louis) (1226-1270) and Philip IV (Philip the Fair) (1284-1314) the Merovingian palace was extended and more heavily fortified. The early Valois kings continued to improve the palace in the 1300s, but Charles V abandoned the palace in 1358, moving across the river to the Louvre. The palace continued to serve an administrative function, and still included the chancellery and French Parliament. In 1391 the building was converted for use as a prison. Its prisoners were a mixture of common criminals and political prisoners. Three towers survive from the medieval Conciergerie: the Caesar Tower, named in honor of the Roman emperors; the Silver Tower, so named for its (alleged) use as the store for the royal treasure; and the Bonbec ("good beak") Tower, which obtained its name from the torture chamber that it housed, in which victims were encouraged to "sing". The building was extended under later kings with France's first public clock being installed around 1370. The current clock dates from 1535. The concierge or keeper of the royal palace, gave the place its eventual name.
On a trip with
Canon 40D, Tamron 17-50, ISO 200, F/11, HDR from 0.5, 1.3, 3.2 sec