Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tour St. Jacques in the Late Afternoon

Tour St. Jacques is located in the Fourth Arrondisement of Paris, a couple of blocks to the west of the Hotel de Ville. It is all that remains of the16th century Church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie. Saint Jacques (St. James) was dedicated to St. James the Greater and was the major starting point for Parisian pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela. You can see other drawings of the church here and here, before it was destroyed in 1793--the tower was a major landmark standing alongside the Gothic church. As the church's title indicates, it was the parish of the butchers of Paris, built from 1508 to 1522. Nicholas Flamel was buried in its crypt.

Until our visit in 2010, I had always seen the tower covered in scaffolding as research into its structural integrity and restoration works were carried out. I visited the park and the tower in November of 2010 and then brought my husband to the tower and Place St Jacques because I thought he'd enjoyed the photographic opportunities.

It was a fine time of day, late afternoon, when we arrived at the park, which was filled with Parisians relaxing. Here are a couple of views of the tower:

And here are a couple of views of the statue of Blaise Pascal in the base of the Tower:

His statue is there because he is supposed to have conducted some atmospheric pressure experiments at the church, although it might have been at St. Jacques-du-Haut-Pas in the Fifth Arrondisement, which had some connections to the Jansenist Port Royal convent. "St James on the High Pass" was also on the way to Compostela.
This picture is from my November 2010 visit to the tower, showing the plaque remarking on its purpose on the pilgrimage to Spain and its history.
And just to show the difference the light and the bright blue October sky made, here is one of my pictures of the Tower on a cold November morning in 2010:

No comments:

Post a Comment