arrondissement) (IC) -
Several blocks to the west of Notre Dame you will find a large complex that
houses the Prefecture de Police,
the Palais de Justice (Court House), the ancient jail of the Conciergerie and
the glorious Sainte Chapelle church.
During the French Revolution, new courts of law were
established at the Palais de Justice. The Conciergerie and Sainte-Chapelle
are part of what once was the Palace of the French Kings from the 10th
through the 14th centuries. The Conciergerie is a portion of the
former Palace that was converted to a torture
chamber and prison for those destined to be accused and tried in the adjacent courts .
Perhaps the most famous of those imprisoned here during the French Revolution
was Marie Antoinette, who was convicted and later executed by guillotine at the
la Concorde. Her former cell in the Conciergerie is now an understated, informal memorial
to the former French queen and daughter of the Habsburg Empress Maria
Theresa of Austria.
The small cell merits a glance and is a very popular attraction, but for some reason
most visitors mute their conversation when approaching Marie
Antoinette's forlorn and inglorious last residence.
At the Palais de Justice complex, you will also find Ste. Chapelle,
a church that was built by the command of Saint Louis (King Louis IX of France -13th Century) to
house the Crown of Thorns, pieces of the True Cross and other holy relics
from the Crusades, which, unfortunately, did not survive the French
Revolution. This small church is a treasure consisting of both upper and
lower chapels. Visiting Sainte Chapelle is a
The stained glass, which dates from the 13th century, is the oldest in Paris and still
possesses strong colors. Be sure to explore the Upper Chapel, which has the
best glass and beautiful painted stonework.
(4th arrondissement) -
The Pont Neuf (New Bridge) is the oldest bridge in Paris and dates from the
early 17th century. Its name distinguished it, at the time, from the other
bridges crossing the Seine, all of which were older and quite dilapidated.
The bridge, which is located at the western edge of the
Île de la Citè, consists of two spans; the shorter
span connects the Left Bank with the island while a
slightly longer span connects to the Right Bank.
provides pleasant views of the Siene and the Île de la
Citè. When illuminated at night, it is quite stunning and provides a
"romantic" view of Paris. The Pont Neuf is one of the most photographed bridges in the City
and one that has appeared in numerous movies, most recently in the Bourne
Supremacy with Matt Damon.
The Île Saint-Louis, which is connected to the Île de la
Citè by the Pont Saint Louis, is comprised of tightly packed 17th
century townhouses. It is a delight to walk and a great place for a meal
or a dessert, especially along the Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île (take the Pont
Saint Louis from the Notre Dame area to reach this street).
A fun way to see the Île de la Cité and the bridges and monuments along
the Seine is to take a night cruise on the Bateaux-Mouches.
(5th arrondisement) -
The boats depart from a station on the Right Bank between the Pont de l'Alma and
Pont des Invalides. See this
section of our page on
the Champs Elysèes for details on the boat lines offering
If you are crossing to the Latin Quarter from Notre Dame and have literary
interests, you might want to stop at Shakespeare and Company, a bookshop
focused on English language works that has become something of an attraction
in the city. Although not the original Shakespeare and Company in
Paris and not as famous a a historical literary setting as the original,
there is a lot to like about this small shop. Visit their
to see if the shop might interest you.
Next - explore our menu on the right to find other
types of sightseeing in Paris.
Or - If you want to find out about a specific attraction
and know its name, look for it in our
Index of the Best Places To Visit in Paris.
If you need information about another travel destination, try
Destination Guide Index
or Googling ThereArePlaces.