I find this tower fascinating because it is all that is left of a church which was destroyed during the French Revolution. There has been little access allowed to the Tour St Jacques for the best part of five centuries but in recent times it was agreed to trial opening it to the public for a period of two months (15 July - 15 September 2013). By all reports it has proven to be a popular site to visit and not just for the tourists. The local residents were amongst the first to climb the 300 steps to the top and were rewarded for their efforts. with a 360 deg. view over Paris. The tower stands upwards of 60 meters high.
The staircase is extremely narrow which makes it difficult for people to pass going up or down. For this reason only a certain number of visitors are allowed in at any one time. If the experiment is deemed a success then a temporary annual opening period may very well be introduced on an ongoing basis.
This tower still around in Les Halles, so easy to find it because the only tower in this area.
Located in Paris' IVe arrondissement, Tour St-Jacques was once part of a church known as Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie (literally, Saint James the Butcher). It was the patron church of butchers and was frequented by the wealthy wholesale butchers that sold their goods at the nearby Les Halles market. Pilgrims used the church to meet before embarking on their long journeys.
The church was built between 1509 and 1523 and was named for St. James the Great. (A statue of the saint was placed atop the tower in the 19th century.) In 1797, during the French Revolution, the church - like many others - was demolished, leaving only the tower, which is now considered a national historic landmark.
In the mid-1800s, the tower, late Gothic in style, was restored by the architect Théodore Ballu. At that time, it was raised onto a pedestal and a small park was built around it. Putting the tower on a pedestal allowed it to retain its original height despite the absence of the remainder of the church.
The tower was designed in the Flamboyant Gothic style and, indeed, it is quite ornate, full of crockets and plenty of niches that hold a variety of statuary. The tower stands 52 meters high (about 171 feet).
The Tower was built in the beginning of XVI century. It is one more bright sample of a "burning" gothic style. There are a lot of windows, alternating niches, spikes and turrets on which sculptures are installed. At the top of the Tower - Sacred Jacque's statue.
You can watch my 3 min 04 sec Video Paris in the evening out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
La Tour Saint-Jacques is an early 16th century Gothic-style tower in the heart of Paris. It is all that remains from the church, église Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie, which must have been a Gothic beauty if its bell tower is any indication. Although the church was demolished at the end of the 18th century, the tower was fortunately saved. It has become a symbol of this part of Paris, and in recent years underwent much needed restoration that returned it to its former glory (ended in 2008). The tower is surrounded by a beautifully landscaped park, known as Square de la Tour Saint-Jacques, which offers a respite from the busy streets around it.
“Paris sera toujours Paris.” (“Paris will always be Paris.”) — sung by Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972); lyrics by Albert Willemetz; music by C. Oberfeld, 1939
The Flamboyant Gothic Tour Saint-Jacques is all that remains of église de Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie, Saint James of the Butchery. The church served the wholesale butchers of Les Halles, a nearby market that no longer exists. It stands 171 feet tall.
Built between 1509 and 1523 and dedicated to Saint James the Great, it welcomed pilgrims from the north on their way to Santiago de Compostela. At the four corners of the Tower’s roof line (see photo #2) stand the four symbols of the Evangelists, the angel for St. John; the lion for St. Mark; the bull for St. Luke; and the eagle for St. Matthew. The rich Flamboyant Gothic decoration (see photo #3) was among the last of its kind as the Italian Renaissance influence in architecture spread throughout France and Europe during the 16th century. The church was demolished in 1797.
Bought by the city in 1836, the tower was declared un monument Historique in 1862, when the small park that surrounds the tower was added.
Blaise Pascal conducted experiments on atmospheric pressure here. Today, there is a meteorological laboratory at the top of the tower. The Tower has undergone a major restoration over the past five years, which was just nearing completion at our July 2008 visit.
Tour St Jacques is a 52m tall tower built in1508-1522 as part of the church St Jacques la Boucherie. It was on the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela.
Inside is a statue of Pascal who made experiments on atmospheric pressure here.
All that remains of an early 15C Flamboyant Gothic Church is the Bell-Tower (171 ft high). The church was destroyed during the Revolution. This was the starting point of the the Northern pilgrims who grouped together here to go to Santiago de Compostella. The travellers crossed the Petit Pont and continued up the rue St.-Jacques going South out of town. Blaise Pascal, the physicist and mathematician (inventing a form of integral calculus) performed experiments on atmospheric pressure on this spot. A memorial statue to him stands beneath the tower arch.
Tour St-Jacques is in the late gothic style and was built in 1523. It is all that is left of an ancient church. The rest of the church was destroyed after the French Revolution. The Tower was used by a French physicist Blaise Pascal in the 17th Century for his experiments with barometers. There is a monument to him inside the tower.
Queen Victoria of Britain passed by this tower in the mid 1800s, and gave her name to a nearby street "Avenue Victoria". I think given normal Anglo-French relations over the years, there are not too many British people commemorated in France!
Please note however that this Tower is NOT open to the public.
This monument is a perfect example of Parisian Gothic architecture. Although the 50 metre high tower is all that remains of Saint Jacques La-Boucherie church (which was built in the 16th century and destroyed just after the French Revolution), it's still an impressive sight.