I have been to
a number of times and lived there for 6 months in my youth so all the ‘big’ tourist attractions had well and truly been visited. Paris
So this time it was good to visit the places not populated by hordes of tourists. Even since 2003 when we were there last the number of tourists has increased considerably.
We stayed at a small hotel in the Marais which was close to the Metro station
. This was quite centrally located and was in easy walking distance to most places. St. Paul
Close to Sainte-Chapelle is the Conciergie which was a prison in the 1400s. During the Revolution their 4000 prisoners held there, including Marie-Antoinette and Robespierre, before being guillotined. There are very good displays of prisoners’ cells and excellent presentation of its history as a prison and those held there. It still has the Gothic Hall of the Man-at-Arms, where the Royal Guards lived. The building still retains the 11th century torture chamber and 14th century clock tower.
We later visited a small museum of the artist Gustav Moreau a unique and compelling artist. An exhibition of many of his works was a feature at National Gallery of Victoria early this year. His work features Moreau’s obsessions with exotic subject matter, from classical mythology and the ancient world, to some of Christianity’s escapades and the poetic narratives of the Middle Ages. The museum is also his house and the top floor is devoted to his works and thee are a huge number. Much of his work has a Pre- Raphaelite feel to it.
The chateau has had some restoration over the years and there is comprehensive information in each area of the complex. It is all very interesting for anyone interested in history.