Saint-Jacques Tower, the Tour Saint-Jacques, is a monument located in the IVe arrondissement of Paris, France. This 171 ft Flamboyant Gothic tower is all that remains of the former 16th century Church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie (“Saint James of the butchery”) which was leveled shortly after the French Revolution.
The tower’s rich decoration reflects the wealth of its patrons, the wholesale butchers of the nearby Les Halles market. The masons in charge were Jean de Felin, Julien Ménart and Jean de Revier. It was built in 1509 to 1523, during the reign of King Francis I. With a dedication to Saint James the Great, the ancient church and its landmark tower welcomed pilgrims setting out on the road that led to Tours and headed for the way of St James, which led to the major pilgrimage destination of Santiago de Compostela.
A relic of the saint preserved in the church linked it the more strongly and in modern times occasioned its listing in 1998 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO among the sites and structures marking the chemins de Compostelle, the pilgrimage routes in France that led like tributaries of a great stream headed towards Santiago in the northwest of Spain.
Photo Credit: Mikael