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WARNING: the visits of the Tour Saint Jacques can only be booked through the association "Des Mots et des Arts".(http://www.desmotsetdesarts.com/offres/visites-guidees-paris/visite-de-la-tour-saint-jacques)

Address

Tour Saint Jacques, 88 Rue De Rivoli, 75004 Paris, France

48° 51′ 28″ N, 2° 20′ 56″ E

48.858254  2.349388

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WARNING: the visits of the Tour Saint Jacques can only be booked through the association "Des Mots et des Arts".

Full description

Saint Jacques tower on the way to the Spanish St Jean de Compostelle Cathedral. It is 150 m of the Tour de l'Horloge and the Sainte Chapelle, on the other side of the Seine river.

The Saint Jacques tower dedicated to Apostle Saint Jacques

The Saint-Jacques tower is the bell tower, the only vestige of the church of Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie, dedicated to Saint Jacques le Majeur also called Jacques de Zébédée or Saint Jacques . He was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ and brother of the apostle John. He came to evangelize Spain, including the region of Compostela. He died "by the sword" in Palestine.

The Saint James Tower belongs to the City of Paris.  Classified as a Historical Monument (1862) and listed as a World Heritage Site (1998), as part of the Roads to Santiago de Compostela. It is 62 m high with the statue and its base.

The pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela in Spain

The Saint James Tower is known to be the starting point of pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. These pilgrimages, which have been very popular throughout history, are still today back in fashion for people who question their place in today's world. Various itineraries starting from many European cities exist to converge towards Santiago de Compostela in Spain. One of these itineraries starts at the foot of the Saint Jacques tower.

The church of Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie

The church of the Saint James Tower housed a relic of the saint and was a famous place of pilgrimage as well as a place of worship for the merchants of the neighborhood. Legend attributes the construction of the church to Emperor Charlemagne. This earned the Saint James Tower its inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998 as part of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Furthermore, a link was created by Spain in 1965 with the donation to the city of Paris of a plaque that made the tower a historical starting point for pilgrims to Compostela.

The importance of the pilgrimages to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostelle

The Compostela Pilgrimage is a Catholic pilgrimage whose goal is to reach the tomb attributed to the apostle Saint James the Greater, located in the crypt of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Northern Spain, Atlantic side). It began in the 9th century. It is a pilgrimage of several hundred or even a thousand km depending on your starting point on one of the routes (there are 4 main routes in Europe, which meet at Roncevaux and Jaca on the French-Spanish border). It is a "Path of meditation, sowed with many demonstrations of fervor, penance, hospitality, art, and culture, which speaks eloquently to us of the spiritual roots of the Old Continent".

Since 2013, the Routes of Compostela attract more than 200,000 pilgrims each year, with a growth rate of more than 10% per year. Pilgrims come mainly on foot, many from nearby cities. The Camino francés ("French Way") gathers 2/3 of the walkers, but the other "minor" paths are experiencing a growth in their frequentation greater than the traditional route. The summer months are the most frequented by pilgrims, and Spanish pilgrims are in the majority there (pilgrims of foreign origin dominate the rest of the year).

The Saint James Tower is not only a meeting point before the pilgrimage

It is said that the Tour Saint-Jacques was saved from destruction during the Revolution because Blaise Pascal World had conducted experiments on gravity from the roof. A statue of the thinker can be found at the base of the tower.

The City of Paris, which has owned the tower since 1836, installed a meteorological station at the end of the 19th century, which is still in operation.

Finally, you should know that the square that surrounds the Tour Saint-Jacques,  is considered the oldest square in Paris!

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