The History of Concierge

The etymological root of the word “concierge” comes from the Latin “conservus” or slave, an old derivation that takes us back to feudal times: "de comte des cierges" or "the guardian of the oil lamps", who was the person in charge of fulfilling every wish or request of the royal visitors in the palaces.

During the Middle Age, the profession was extended to Europe and then they began to be the guardians of the keys in remarkable castles and government buildings. There is also a famous prison in Paris called “La Conserjería", in honor of the guardian of the keys, who was also responsible for assigning the cells of the prisoners.

The term “le Portier” (the doorman) was introduced for the first time in France in 1195 by King Luis XI who used it to refer to the officers of the royal palace. Their work consisted in protecting the King in his castle. After the death of Luis XI, that jurisdiction was partially delegated to other officers of the court (it is here where concierges first appeared). With the fall of the monarchy between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the profession of the doorman took a new course and name. The appearance of diverse inns during that period gave rise to the business hotels that we commonly know today.

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