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Gems of Paris by French Moments

A beautiful gilded Conciergerie clock is hanging on the Clock Tower of the Conciergerie. It is situated at the junction of Quai de l’Horloge and Boulevard du Palais in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. The Conciergerie clock is France’s first public clock.


The Conciergerie Clock in Paris

Clock Tower Conciergerie © French Moments
Clock Tower Conciergerie © French Moments

The Clock Tower (Tour de l’Horloge) was built between 1350 and 1353. It is the Conciergerie‘s tallest tower, rising at 47 metres. Since 1371 it has housed the remarkable clock whose purpose was to help Parisians regulate their activities day and night.

Then, in 1585, this clock was enhanced by a gilded one still in place created by Germain Pilon. It featured a multicoloured face with allegories of the Law and Justice framing the actual clock.

The events of the French Revolution severely damaged it. However, it was not until 1849 that clockmaker Lepaute restored the clock.

Finally, during the latest restoration, old documents from the National Library inspired the restorers in their work. The restoration programme ended in 2012 and gave the clock its initial splendour.

Clock Tower Conciergerie © French Moments
Clock Tower Conciergerie © French Moments

The long arm of the clock depicts an arrow, while the shorter has a fleur-de-lys at its tip.


The Latin inscriptions

Below the clock, a Latin inscription reads:


English translation:

This mechanism which divides time into perfectly equal twelve hours helps you to protect justice and defend the law”.


Then, above the clock, another inscription refers to King Henri III (1551-1589), King of Poland and later became King of France:


English translation:

He who has already given two crowns will be given a third.


More photos

Conciergerie 22 © French Moments
The Conciergerie clock, Paris © French Moments
Clock Tower Conciergerie © French Moments
The clock tower © French Moments
Clock Tower Conciergerie 04 © French Moments
Clock Tower Conciergerie © French Moments
Clock Tower Conciergerie 03 © French Moments
Clock Tower Conciergerie © French Moments


Pont au change © French Moments
Pont au change, Tribunal de Commerce and Conciergerie © French Moments
Panoramic View from Tour Saint-Jacques 18 copyright French Moments
The Conciergerie and the clock tower to the left © French Moments


Where to stay in the 1st arrondissement?

Hotels in Paris vary from stunning luxurious places like the Ritz and the Meurice to much simpler hotels in charming older parts of the city. However, due to its central location, you will find the level of prices of all types of accommodation relatively high in the 1st arrondissement. Depending on your budget, you might want to find cheaper accommodation further away from the hyper centre of Paris!

Therefore, the district has more than 70 hotels totalling over 4,000 rooms. Of these, eleven are 5-star hotels, including some of the most famous:

Here is a map showing the nearest accommodation:


Gems of Paris by French Moments
About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of the Discovery Course on the Secrets of the Eiffel Tower and the Christmas book "Voyage au Pays de Noël".

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