The Saint-Jacques Tower (in French: Tour Saint-Jacques) is an isolated tower erected in the middle of the first Parisian square, which bears its name in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The Saint-Jacques tower, a flamboyant Gothic-style bell tower, is the only vestige of the Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie church dedicated to Santiago Maior.
The sanctuary possessed a relic of St. James and was considered a place of pilgrimage. As the Pilgrim’s Guide does not mention the city, Chronique de Turpin’s work states that the church was founded by Charlemagne, which led to its inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage to the Roads of Santiago de Compostela in France in 1998, with another 70 buildings or locations in France. This chronicle that constitutes one of the books of Codex Calixtino was considered authentic until the end of century XVIII. But the legend of the building by Charlemagne was maintained. It is the only link of the tower with Compostela, according to historical studies carried out. However, a link was created by Spain in 1965 as a gift to the city of Paris with a plaque that made the tower a historic starting point for the pilgrims of Compostela.
The Bell Tower was built between 1509 and 1523 by Jean de Felin, Julien Ménart and Jean de Revier. With 54 meters to the balustrade. In 1523 Rault, an “image sculptor” received 20 livres “for having the three animals (three of the four symbols of the evangelists) and St. James on the tower and belfry.” This colossal statue was about 10 meters. The church was destroyed in 1793, the tower was not demolished because Blaise Pascal had renewed its experiments on the gravity of Puy-de-Dôme.
In 1824, an industrialist bought the tower to install a lead bullet smelter, where it turned it into an artillery tower. In 1836, after two fires, the tower was bought by the city of Paris. In 1850, the Monitor reported that he would install on top of the tower, a lighthouse that would be illuminated by electric light to illuminate the whole neighborhood. In 1852, during the work carried out in the drilling of rue de Rivoli, it was decided to restore the steeple of Nicolas Flamel. The colossal work was ordered by the architect Victor Baltard and directed by Théodore Vacquer and the engineer Roussel. The tower was completely restored by foundations, the lower parts were entirely redone, with more than twenty statues. Between 1854-1858 the restoration was entrusted to the architect Théodore Ballu.