Friday, November 18, 2011

Tour Saint-Jacques

I took this picture on the corner of Rue des Lombards and Rue Nicolas Flamel in the 4th district. 

The monument you can see there in the end of the street is Tour Saint-Jacques. This 52 meters (171 ft) Flamboyant Gothic tower is all that remains of the former 16th century Church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie ("Saint James of the butchery") which was leveled shortly after the French Revolution. The tower's rich decoration reflects the wealth of its patrons, the wholesale butchers of the nearby Les Halles market. It was built in 1509 to 1523, during the reign of François Ier. The church, with the exception of the tower, was demolished in 1793. During the Second Empire, the architect Théodore Ballu restored the tower, placing it on a pedestal and designing a small city park around it. The tower inspired Alexandre Dumas to write the play La tour Saint-Jacques-de-la-boucherie in 1856. It was again renewed recently.

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