Paris - Ile De France Section
Rotonde de la Villette - Place Stalingrad
This square was initially called Rond-Point de la Villette, as it replaced the Barrière de La Villette, one of the tollgates on the General Farmers Wall.
This fiscal wall, erected between 1784 and 1788, was pierced with tollgates where taxes were collected on all goods entering Paris.
The Rotonde housed the controllers' and receivers' headquarters, but also the guards and riders who monitored the walkway and warehouses, where the goods were stored.
It’s one of four remaining monumental gateways or Propylaea the architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux built on the General Farmers Wall.
The Barrière de La Villette was also known as Barrière Saint-Martin; the monumental gate was at the eastern end of the Grand' Chaussée Sainct-Martin (current Rue St-Martin), the official road used by all foreign sovereigns and official dignitaries as they entered Paris.
The unpopular fiscal wall and all but 4 monumental gates were demolished at the Revolution.
The Barrière St. Martin was renamed Porte de la Villette, and the Rotonde became one of the fortified gates on the military wall Thiers built in the 1840’s.
This wall was pulled down after WWI.
Baron Haussmann spared the Rotonde during his renovation of Paris in the mid 19th century, but the insurgents burned it during the Paris Commune in 1871.
It was restored and once more escaped demolition during the construction of the Metro Line 2 in the early 1900s!
It was eventually listed Historical Monument on April 24, 1907 and today houses a restaurant.
Directions: 19th district - Place Stalingrad
Metro: Stalingrad on Line 2,5,7 or Jaurès on Line 2,5,7bis
Coordinates: Lat 48.883608 - Long 2.369565