Tour Saint Jacques, the belfry of Saint Jacques de la Boucherie
The Tour Saint Jacques marks the junction of Boulevard de Sébastopol and Rue de Rivoli.
The iconic Gothic Flamboyant belfry is all that remains of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie, a church built in 1060 by the wealthy Guild of the Butchers of Paris and demolished at the Revolution.
Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie stood in the heart of the historical Paris.
It was also the starting point for all French pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
A statue of Saint-Jacques de Compostelle, restored during the 19th century, still crowns the church’s pinnacle.
A commemorative slab was also affixed on one of the walls of the tower’s base.
Statue of Blaise Pascal
The outbuildings and dwellings that surrounded the church were also pulled down.
However, the bell tower miraculously escaped demolition.
It was built in the early 16th century to replace the original Romanesque tower and is a masterpiece of Gothic Flamboyant architecture.
The architect Théodore Ballu restored it in the 19th century.
A statue of Blaise Pascal was placed in the porch.
It commemorates the barometric experiments the physicist carried out from the top of the tower in the mid 17th century.
The Tour Saint Jacques is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
It’s open to the public once a year, during the Journées du Patrimoine – Heritage Days in September.
Square de la Tour Saint-Jacques
The Square de la Tour Saint Jacques replaces the void left by the church and its various outbuildings.
The small public garden was among the first to be landscaped by Alphand during Baron Haussmann‘s renovation of Paris in the mid 19th century.
You’ll find several benches scattered among lawns and flowerbeds, but also a stele dedicated to Gérard de Nerval.
It stands next to a stone engraved with a passage from one of his poems. The poet was very fond of this district where he was born there.
The Square de la Tour Saint Jacques is a little oasis of greenery in the busy and noisy historical centre of Paris.
It is therefore very popular with the locals residents and tourists.
Directions: 4th District
Metro: Châtelet on Lines 1, 4, 11
Coordinates Tour Saint Jacques: Lat 48.858068 – Long 2.348907