Saturday, June 8, 2013

Philatelic Photograph: La Conciergerie - Paris, France

Interesting Places I've Photographed
La Conciergerie
Paris, France
Topic: Philatelic Photographs

GPS: N48° 51.370; E002° 20.781

Quick Description: 

La Conciergerie is located on the Quai de l'Horloge on Île de la Cité near the Pont au Change in Paris.

Long Description:

The site of the present La Conciergerie was the Palace of French Kings from the 10th century until they moved to the Louvre in 1358. The Conciergerie became a prison in 1391 and played a significant and dramatic role during the 1789 French Revolution. Around 2,780 prisoners, including Marie-Antoinette, were held here before being taken from La Conciergerie to be executed on the guillotine at a number of locations around Paris. After the Revolution La Conciergerie continued to be used for important prisoners, notably Napoleon III. Today, it is part of the larger complex known as the Palais de Justice, which is still used for judicial purposes.

The Gothic-style La Conciergerie includes the remains of the oldest royal palace in Paris and was first constructed at the start of the 14th century. Located on an island in the middle of the River Seine, the location was chosen by King Philippe IV, known as Philippe The Fair, in the early 14th Century as the place where he would build a palace to symbolise his power. A few remnants of the Conciergerie remain from the Middle Ages. The Silver Tower, which supposedly housed the royal treasury; the Caesar Tower, named for the Roman emperors; and the Bonbec Tower, which housed a torture chamber.

Recently, the mounted clock on the clock tower has been restored to is former splendor.

The stamp was issued by France in 1947 as part of a set of four stamps depicting Paris sites and commemorating the 12th Congress of the Universal Postal Union held in Paris from May 7 to July 7, 1947.

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