Paris and Tour St Jacques!

So on a nice Sunday braving the demonstrations I took my car into Paris, glorious!!! Easy once again ride on the A3 getting around Porte de Bagnolet into inner Paris and easy parking at Place Saint Michel!! And for diversity the way back I took out by the Porte de la Chapelle as easy as well!

As to minimize my word count I said once into Paris the best way is to walk, and walk I did all over, many posts to come. However this time will tell you a bit more on the St James’s Tower in Paris, Tour St Jacques.


Here is the must read from the tourist office of Paris: Tourist office of Paris on the tour St Jacques

For admission ticket information and visits official site is here: Official site for visits to the Tour St Jacques in French

Actually  ,do not recall having a post on it alone. So credit is due,here is my take on it

The Saint-James tower or Tour St Jacques is the only vestige of the Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie church, whose new bell tower was built between 1509 and 1523, this bell-tower is erected in the middle of the first Parisian square, which bears its name , in the 4éme arrondissement of Paris.


While resuming certain elements of the contemporary Louis XII style, this building shows how much Parisian and particularly religious architecture is reluctant to the innovations brought from Italy and remains as in the hotel Cluny, faithful to the essential style 15C flamboyant Gothic. While the general architecture of the building remains essentially faithful to the flamboyant Gothic style of the 15C, it does not take less certain novelties induced by the new Louis XII style that triumphs then marking a transition between art Gothic and the Early Renaissance.


A bit of history I like

The Tour Saint-Jacques is an old Bell tower constituting the only vestige of the Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie church, dedicated to Saint Jacques le Majeur (St James the Major). This sanctuary was home to a relic of Saint James and was a famous place of pilgrimage and the place of worship of the merchants of the neighborhood.

This bell tower was built between 1509 and 1523. It measures 54 meters up to the balustrade. The church was destroyed in 1793 and closed by the French revolution and became a national stone quarry site. It is said that the tower was not demolished because of the Church Saint-Jacques-du-Haut-Pas on the hill of  Sainte-Geneviève . A statue, installed at the base of the tower, reminds us. It is true that the later buyer of the church had a condition of not demolishing the tower. It was at the time one of the tallest monuments in Paris.

In 1824, an industrialist buys the tower to install a foundry of lead shots, turning it into a plumb bob. In 1836, after two fires, the tower was bought by the City of Paris. In 1852 the work undertaken on the occasion of the piercing of the rue de Rivoli and its decided of the restoration of the belfry. The statue of St. James, destroyed during the French revolution, is replaced by another, 3.80 meters high. The Church of Saint-Jacques d’Illiers-Combray, dear to Marcel Proust, retains the lead, made in 1858 to serve as a model for the sculptor. It was offered by Napoleon III to the municipal council of Paris which had made the request.

At the foot of the tower, was created in 1856 the first square of Paris (now place tour Saint-Jacques). At the foot of the tower, at the end of the 19C, the hiring of the workers takes place in the open air, the meeting place of the latter, as was the Place de Grève (current Place de l’Hôtel de Ville) is closed.

Since 1965, a plaque offered by Spain to the city of Paris, on the initiative of the Society of Friends of Saint Jacques, makes it a starting point for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. On the platform is installed a small weather station since 1891. It depends on the Montsouris Observatory. The carved symbols of the four Evangelists, the lion (Mark), the bull (Luke), the eagle (John) and the angel (Matthew), appear in the corners. The current statues date back to the beginning of the 20C, like gargoyles and eighteen statues of saints decorating the walls of the tower. The sculptures date from two eras. Some are from the origin of construction in the 16C, others were created in the 19C and 20C.


Visits are again possible. They are organized by an association authorized by the City of Paris and are limited to 17 people per hour, especially because of the narrowness of the stairs, 85 cm (about 33 inches)! Going up 54 meters or about 16 floors! Enjoy it

There now have another monument mentioned of my eternal Paris so good to be near it again and taking full advantage lol! Enjoy the Tour Saint Jacques! And remember, happy travels good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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