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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

Medieval Palaces


13th-14th c.

In the 8th century, power shifted to the Carolingian family.

Charles Martel, the founder of the dynasty, had initially been an administrator of the palace. His grandson became the famous ruler Charlemagne.

The Carolingians were extremely powerful, and the Empire rapidly expanded.

Paris was progressively abandoned as power shifted East.

It regained its importance when a new royal family took over after Charlemagne died - the Capetians.

The Capetians became one of the longest ruling families in Europe, ruling from 987-1792, and 1814-1848!

They made Paris their capital and Paris went from being a provincial city to one of the richest and most vibrant medieval cities in Europe.

The heart of Capetian power until the 14th century was a royal palace on the Ile de la Cité - today's Conciergerie.