La Tour St. Jacques La Boucherie à Paris ca. 1867


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Title La Tour St. Jacques La Boucherie à Paris
English: The freestanding Tour Saint-Jacques that one sees today in a park just off the rue de Rivoli in the heart of Paris is all that remains of the Gothic church of Saint-Jacques la Boucherie. Built between 1508 and 1522, the tower lost its statuary and its dozen bells during the Revolution, but its basic fabric escaped the demolition visited upon the rest of the church. It was sold in 1797 and was put to use for a purpose far from its original function: as a shot tower. Droplets of molten lead formed into perfect spheres as they fell through the nearly two-hundred-foot interior of the tower into a cooling tub of water at the bottom. In 1836 the tower was bought by the City of Paris.

In the early 1850s, the tower was disengaged from the surrounding buildings, the lower part of the Tour Saint-Jacques was rebuilt to function as a civic monument, its destroyed statuary was remade, and the surrounding area was redesigned as a park. The surface of the new Square Saint-Jacques was lowered in order keep the nearby streets level, and a raised platform with steps was built as a transition between the old and new ground levels. Visitors could ascend the tower for a panoramic view of Paris. "Galignani's New Paris Guide for 1860" remarked upon the transformation: "This interesting structure now occupies the centre of an elegant square laid out as a garden, once intersected by the filthiest streets of the metropolis, haunted by vendors of rags and other commodities of a similar nature."

Like a draftsman who might exaggerate the scale of a monument to impress the viewer with its great height, Soulier chose an elevated point of view at the corner of the rue de Rivoli and the Boulevard de Sebastopol from which the restored tower could be seen rising in the center of the composition, unobstructed and dwarfing all neighboring buildings.
Français : La Tour Saint-Jacques près de la rue de Rivoli, à Paris, est tout ce qui reste de l'église gothique de Saint-Jacques la Boucherie. Construite entre 1508 et 1522. La tour a perdu ses statues et des douzaines de cloches durant la révolution, mais a échappé à la démolition. La tour a été vendue en 1797 à un industriel et a été utilisée comme tour à plomb jusqu'à son rachat par la mairie de Paris en 1836.

Au début des années 1850, la tour a été dégagée des bâtiments qui l'entouraient et sa partie inférieure a été entièrement restaurée. Les environs de la tour ont été transformés en un parc, et la tour peut se visiter.

Cette vue de la tour Saint Jaques, prise de haut depuis l'angle de la rue de Rivoli et du boulevard de Sébastopol, met en valeur sa hauteur qui écrase les autres bâtiments du quartier.
Date circa 1867
Medium Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions Height: 40.7 cm (16 in). Width: 30.6 cm (12 in).
Accession number 1988.1072
Credit line Edward Pearce Casey Fund, 1988
Source/Photographer Metropolitan Museum of Art, online database: entry 265933
Camera location 48° 51′ 28.87″ N, 2° 20′ 56.03″ E Kartographer map based on OpenStreetMap. View this and other nearby images on: OpenStreetMap - Google Earth info



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