Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Le Tour Saint-Jacques, Paris

The Tour Saint-Jacques (Saint James' Tower) is the last remnant of a 16th century church built in central Paris (4eme arrondissement) in the reign of Francois I in the Flamboyant Gothic style. 

One of the statues on the side of the tower is Saint Roch. He is a saint much associated with pilgrim routes and the tower is one of the starting points for the pilgrim route first to Tours and then on to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. You can identify Saint Roch because he holds a staff and is accompanied by a dog. Usually he is displaying a wound on his leg too.

The Angel of Saint Matthew atop one corner of the tower.

The Lion of Saint Luke sits high up on another corner. I suspect the fetching cranial lightening rods are not original.

These lovely sinous gargoyles leer in gormless horror at you from a great height (c50 m).

The Wiki entry on the Tower is well written and informative if you want more details of its history.


Liselle said...

Ooh i like your photos of the Tour. Not easy to get the right angle. Well done.

Tim said...

I 'ike 'argoyleg, 'hey 'alk 'uh-ee!!
Nice pics Susan.

Colin and Elizabeth said...

It looks like the gargoyles double as water outlets from the roof. They will be that length to take the water away from the building... Bet they look good on a wet day (if I am right that is)

Niall & Antoinette said...

love the gargoyles! :-)

Susan said...

Liselle, Tim: Simon took the photos.

C&E: They certainly are water-spouts, and in fact, that is what makes them gargoyles. A fantastical creature on a building is not necessarily a gargoyle. If they are merely decorative or bridging the junction of the buttresses and the walls, they should be called grotesques.

N&A: gargoyles are difficult to resist aren't they?

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