Winter has finally descended on Paris. The first two weeks were on the warm side, but now everyone is wearing their puffy black down coats, so I'm blending in nicely with mine! Today was class at Sweet Briar, but sadly no visits to the monuments, as it has been rescheduled for tomorrow. We are going to Chateau de Vincennes, so look for a post about that sometime tomorrow night! However, to make up for the lack of a monument, one of my friends and I paid a visit to La Conciergerie. There's always something to do or see here in Paris!
Thanks again to google for the picture, they are renovating the outside, so the facade does not look so hot right now. It is on Ile de la Cite, right next to Sainte Chapelle and le Palais de Justice. The Conciergerie was originally built as a palace for the kings of France in the Middle Ages. Charles V later moved the royal residence off Ile de la Cite, and the palace was used for trials and a place to keep prisoners. Currently, there is an art exhibit called Bêtes Off (Beasts Off) in the Hall of Men at Arms. It was very interesting to see some modern art in such an old setting. Voila some pictures of the exhibit.....
Le porteur de l'esprit de la balenine échouéé
(Carrier of the spirit of the beached whale)
Inside the Crisis Cabin...this was my favorite, the walls were covered in green feathers and the inside was filled with livres francais! (French Books)
Here is The End of All Things
This work of art was my second favorite....so cool! It made me think of Harry Potter....
I liked this installation as well. You can also see the huge arches of the Hall of Men-at-Arms in the background.
And now onto the prison! The Conciergerie had a reputation for being the worst prision around. During the Reign of Terror after the French Revoultion, the former palace was used as a pit stop on the way to trial and (most likely) execution.
Some of the cells. If you paid extra, you got a cell with a bed in it! And for even more, you would have a bed in a room to yourself. Les pauvres just slept on straw on the stone floors....
I think the jailers would have a hard time loosing these huge keys.
The business end of a Guillotine. Ouch.
The Girondin's Chapel
Memorial for Marie-Antionette
Painting of the last Queen of the Ancien Regieme in her old cell. It was converted into a chapel by Louis XVIII.
Courtyard where prisoners bid au revoir before heading off to the guillotine in Place de la Concorde.
C'est tout pour ce soir mes amis! I need to translate some syllabi so that I can get credit for all of my delightful classes and look for an internship for when I'm stateside again. But who knows, peut-etre je trouverais quelque chose en France(maybe I'll find something in France)!