Anyone want to go to prison with me?
La Conciergerie is a former royal palace that was converted into (what eventually became known as) Paris’ most famous prison. This is where Marie Antoinette was held after she was arrested. Originally (i.e. pre-Reign of Terror), where you were held and how you were treated was largely dependent on your wealth and status (shocking, I know): if you were wealthy and knew the right people, you could get your own private cell complete with bed, desk and writing materials (and books!). The ‘middle’ class had a crappy, possibly uncomfortable bed and if they were lucky, a desk, while the dirt poor got a nice pile of hay. In addition to the hay, such prisoners were left to die in damp rat-infested cells. Don’t let this lavish structure fool you, because during the Reign of Terror, this is where prisoners (like Marie Antoinette) were held here before being sent to the guillotine for beheading. Good times!
Got something to say? Speak!
Like what you’ve been reading? Then go like us on Facebook!