A stone’s throw from the Hôtel de Ville, next to the shops of the rue de Rivoli, the Saint-Jacques tower is an architectural curiosity not to be missed.
Built in the 16th century
In fact, this tower built in the 16th century was the bell tower of a church destroyed during the Revolution: Saint-Jacques la Boucherie. Its name comes from its geographical location: it is indeed in the zone of the guild of butchers and on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. A statue of the Saint dominates the tower. Legend has it that the Tour Saint-Jacques was saved from destruction during the Revolution because Blaise Pascal had carried out experiments on gravity from the roof. There is also a statue of the thinker at the base of the tower. Since 1965, the tower has again become the starting point of the route to Santiago de Compostela for many pilgrims.
300 steps to climb !
The City of Paris, which has owned it since 1836, had a meteorological station installed at the end of the 19th century, which is still in use. The big ready-to-wear brands have since replaced butchers and the Saint-Jacques tower is a medieval incongruity in this setting that deserves a detour. Take advantage of the green space offered by the small square at its foot, the first in Paris, to observe the impressive gargoyles and statues of saints, the delicate stained glass windows and finely carved motifs that decorate the walls, and have fun. to unearth the hidden symbols of the four evangelists. Start climbing the 300 steps of the tower. From its summit, 54 meters above sea level, Paris is revealed before your eyes, and the breathtaking view of the Sacré-Coeur, the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame will quickly make you forget your efforts. Something to regain strength by gaining height.
Square of the Tour Saint-Jacques