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Accueil > VISITE DU PALAIS > Histoire > The Palace: from 1800 to our Time

04 juin 2008

The Palace: from 1800 to our Time

the place


The Revolution toppled the judicial organization. The new tribunals set up camp in the old building. Shortly after the coup, Napoleon ordered the architect Giraud to direct the indispensable repairs. The judicial organization was restructured. Legal principles were modified: the hearing of infractions (crimes and torts) were entrusted to magistrates.Under Napoleon's reign, the judges were appointed by the government in power. In 1804, Napoleon restored the title of "court". The "tribunals of appeal" and the "supreme tribunal of appeal" became the "court of appeal" and "supreme court of appeal". These courts rendered "judgements" and their judges wore the title of "councilor".The Law Society was restored in 1810. In 1826 in the lobby, a statue was erected of Chrétien Guillaume de Malesherbes (1721-1794), the only defender of Louis XVI who was not guillotined. The statue of French advocate, orator and statesman Pierre-Antoine Berryer (1790-1868) was erected in 1879, in front of the first, next to the Counsel Room (salle des référés). In 1840, the plans drawn up by Jean-Nicolas Huyot for the restructuring, renovation and extension of the palace were adopted by the municipal council.
Duc replaced Huyot after the latter's death. The new buildings of the Quai de l'Horloge and the entryway of the May Courtyard were erected between 1853 and 1857.The vaults of the lobby were restored in 1858, and in 1859, the Caesar Tower (which was named for the Roman vestiges which it is believed to have succeeded), the Silver Tower (during the reign of Saint Louis, the royal treasury is said to have been kept in this tower) and the Bonbec Tower (where prisoners were tortured to loosen their tongue, with instruments designed to obtain... a "bon bec" -- a French expression akin to the English "sing like a canary" -- and produce the right answers). For four years, carpenters and masons transformed the old premises of the Dauphine Gallery to install the Attorney's Chamber. The Assize Court, the Auction Chamber and the lawyers library were constructed. The Supreme Court of Appeal was inaugurated in 1865. The redecoration of the Great Chamber (currently the first chamber of the high court of justice) in Louis XII style was undertaken in 1866. The king's residence, with its two square towers and buttresses dating from the XIth century, was torn down in 1868.



The Law Courts and the Sainte-Chapelle


The Palace from 1870 to 1914

The work undertaken under Baron Haussmann was completed, and the war of 1870 broke out. During the Commune, the insurgents set fires and on the night of May 24, 1871, the palace was set ablaze. Part of the palace was destroyed: the section that housed the court of first instance, the police, the civil registry, the archives, the rooms of the prosecutor general and the prosecutor of the Republic, the offices of the magistrates, the two rooms of the Assize Court built only two years prior, a large part of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the court of appeal, the lobby and the Great Chamber. The palace was rebuilt under the Third Republic. The Appeal Court of Paris was moved to premises built on the Quai des Orfèvres and in the courtyard of the Sainte-Chapelle. In 1875, the Harlay Hall and its staircase on the Place Dauphine was inaugurated.

The premises of the judicial police and the criminal courts were completed in 1914.


The fire of 1871


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