[[Image:Conciergerie22.jpg|thumb|right|300px|View from the river Seine. Compare the part where pollution has been cleaned (right) to the part where it hasn't yet been (left).]]
(La) Conciergerie thus already had an unpleasant reputation before it became internationally famous as the "antechamber to the [[guillotine]]" during the [[Reign of Terror]], the bloodiest phase of the [[French Revolution]]. It housed the Revolutionary Tribunal as well as up to 1,200 male and female prisoners at a time. The Tribunal sat in the Great Hall between [[2 April]] [] and [[31 May]] [] and sent nearly 2,600 prisoners to the guillotine. Its rules were simple. Only two outcomes existed — a declaration of innocence or a death sentence — and in most cases the latter was chosen. The most famous prisoners (and victims) included Queen [[Marie Antoinette]], the poet [[André Chénier]], [[Charlotte Corday]], [[Madame Élisabeth]], [[Madame du Barry]] and the [[Girondins]], who were condemned by [[Georges Danton]], who was in turn condemned by [[Robespierre]], who was himself condemned and executed in a final bout of bloodletting. En route to the tumbrils, the victims walked through the Salle Saint-Louis, ([[Louis IX of France|Saint Louis]] Room), which acquired the nickname of the ''Salle des Perdus'', the "Room of the Doomed".
After the [[Restoration of the Bourbons]] in the 19th century, the Conciergerie continued to be used as a prison for high-value prisoners — most notably the future [[Napoleon III]]. Marie Antoinette's cell was converted into a chapel dedicated to her memory. The Conciergerie and Palais de Justice underwent major rebuilding in the mid-19th century, totally altering their external appearance. While the building looks like a brooding medieval fortress, this appearance actually only dates from about 1858.