This wall started to be built just before the Revolution (as from 1784) and was probably a major factor for the 1789 movements. The tax collection was stopped in 1791, but was resumed in 1798 and abandoned only in 1860, when also the villages outside the wall like Montmartre, Belleville, Batignolles... were incorporated.
There were 62 toll barriers or lodges and if the wall has disappeared and been replaced by large avenues and boulevards, a few of these lodges remain, now – fortunately - with different use; one at Parc Monceau (see previous post), one at Place de Stalingrad / La Vilette (see previous post) and two at Place de la Nation (previously “du Trône”) (see previous post).
My preceding post was about the Catacombs. One of the lodges, at Place Denfert-Rochereau, is where you enter the Catacombs.
On the opposite side of the street there is a “sister lodge”, today occupied by some Paris administrative offices. Under this building is where the French Resistance had their secret headquarters during the last phase leading to the Nazi capitulation of Paris in August 1944. The street between the two buildings has now got the name of Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, a manual worker and communist, active in the International Brigades in Spain 1937-38 and later commanding the French Forces of the Interior (FFI) in the Paris region (Ile-de-France). He directed the Paris strikes and uprising the fortnight before he together with General Leclerc could co-sign the surrender of General von Choltitz, August 25, 1944.
One curious thing can be seen outside this building: A clock with the inscription “VILLE de PARIS – Unification de l’Heure – Centre Horaire” (see top picture). This should thus be (has been) the Paris centre for the “coordination of the hour”; obviously not today in activity: The clock was working but indicated 5:45 (or 17:45) when the real hour was 12:56! I have tried to find some information about this coordination centre, but in vain. Well, today we have the atomic Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Did you know that because of the slowing globe rotation, leap seconds have to be added today approximately every 500 days and in a century probably every 250 days?