Tour Saint Jacques

The flamboyant High-Gothic tower, basking in the park on Rue de Rivoli is actually a remnant of the church “Saint Jacques de la Boucherie” destroyed in the Bourgeois Revolution. The church was originally built in 12th century but enlarged to its definite size in 16th century, when the tower was built too. It has been reconstructed a couple of times since, and its contours changed over time, becoming richer with every iteration.

The top of the tower is populated with mythical creatures, helping St Jacques in his quest. The chimeras are there to chase the devil away, the gargoyle gutters grimace to the world, the angel, as an ambassador of the Heavens overlooks the city. Statue of St Jacques strangely blocking the view of one of the chimeras is actually a XIX century addition to the octagonal spire, which was added to greet the pilgrims stopping by on their long march to Santiago de Compostela.

This strong, harmonious, patinated stone composition, built in ashlar masonry has lost its original purpose and it is not even a belfry today as its bells were melted, but it remains a destination frequented by many pilgrims and tourists.

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