Tour Saint-Jacques

While wandering around I happened on a little park around this monument, all that remains of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie, a 16th century church torn down in 1797.

Fun fact: this spot is traditionally the first step on the Santiago de Compostela / Saint-Jacques de Compostelle pilgrimage if you start around Paris. The way from here was (and still is) called Via Turonensis, Latin for “Tours Road”—the northernmost of four traditional paths to take in France. From Paris you’d go through either Orléans or Chartres, then Blois, Tours, Poitiers, Saintes or Angoulême, Bordeaux, Sorde-l’Abbaye, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, and then you’re in Spain and the Camino francés begins: Roncesvalles, Pamplona, Puente la Reina, Logroño, Burgos, León, and finally we get to Santiago.

Long-distance travel was certainly not easy or safe in medieval times, but pilgrims never went out totally blind, and there’s been infrastructure to take care of them for centuries. Mind you, today’s pilgrims—or people walking for pleasure—also benefit from Google Maps, as well as various detailed maps, itineraries and apps provided by religious / pilgrim-friendly organisations.

   21 May 2022
   1/160s    f/7.1   17mm   ISO 125
Tour Saint-Jacques