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The Palais de Justice, the Conciergerie and the Tour de l'Horloge, after 1858 - by Adrien DauzatsThe Conciergerie (French: La Conciergerie) is a former prison in Paris, 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 Conciergerie was originally a part of the palace of King Philip IV (Philip the Fair) (1284-1314). It was a section of the palace precinct controlled by a person of high degree, the concierge or keeper of the royal palace. Its ground floor levels, built in Philip's reign, are dominated by the Guardroom and the Hall of Men-at-arms, which are exceptional examples of medieval secular architecture. The latter is particularly striking: 209 feet long, 90 feet wide and 28 feet high, it was used as a dining-room for the 2,000 staff who worked in the palace. It was heated with four large fireplaces and lit by many windows, now blocked up. It was also used for royal banquets and judicial proceedings. The neighboring Guardroom was used as an antechamber to the Great Hall immediately above, where the king held his lit de justice (a session of parliament in the king's presence).

the rest of the story at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conciergerie

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