The above photo is from the interior of the “Bourse de Commerce”, situated in the western corner of what is still called “Les Halles”, the place which until 1969 was the Paris central food market (see previous post). It’s close to the Saint Eustache church (see previous post) and also the Rue Montorgueil (see previous posts).
The present building was preceded by different castles, the last one built for Catherine de Medicis (1519-89, consort queen to Henry II and mother of three French kings – the de facto ruler – and blamed for the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew 1572). This is what her castle looked like. You can see what is said to be an astronomical tower – from 1574 - on the right side; Catherine believed a lot in astronomy. The castle has disappeared, but the tower is still there.
Around 1760 the castle was replaced by a “Halle aux Blés”, for the then important wheat commerce - basically the present building. After some fires and construction and reconstruction of the dome (the present one from 1811, the glass decoration from 1838), the looks have changed little, although the building was again on fire in 1854. The wheat commerce was abandoned and the building was taken for use by the Paris Chamber of Commerce in 1885. It was for some decades the home for different merchandise markets (sugar, coffee, potatoes...), but is today basically used for other activities linked to the Chamber of Commerce.
The remarkable paintings on the upper part of the walls date from the latter half of the 19th century.
... and, of course due to the vicinity to the previous food market, there are a number of good restaurants, including the well-known brasserie “Pied de Cochon”.
Behind an old entrance to a mansion, just behind the Saint Eustache church, you can today find the fashion house “agnès b”.