9.1.12

La Rotonde de la Villette



This is not the first time (see previous post) I talk about this building, “La Rotonde de la Villette”, but after a long period of restoration it has recently opened to public. There is a restaurant and a bar and different facilities can be rented for meetings, expositions, cultural events …

The building was part of the toll barrier built in the 1780’s, just before the Revolution, “The Wall of the Farmers General”, which surrounded what then was Paris. Tax had to be paid for goods entering the city. A number of bars and restaurants (“guinguettes”) could be found just outside the wall, with “tax-free” prices. The unpopular taxes were abolished during the Revolutionary years, but rather soon again resumed. In 1860 it was decided that the surrounding villages – Belleville, Montmartre, Batignolles, Passy… (see map) should be incorporated and the wall disappeared. However, the payment of tolls remained until 1943, but the collect was displaced to the new Paris borders.

Until 1860, the toll had to be paid in some 60 buildings, part of the “Wall of the Farmers General”. Only four remain, Place de la Nation (“Barrière du Trone” – actually two buildings, see previous post), Place Denfert-Rochereau (« Barrière d’Enfer », also two buildings, see previous post), Parc Monceau (« Barrière de Chartres », see previous post) and this one, situated where the Canal Saint Martin and the Bassin de la Villette meet (« La Rotonde de la Villette », also referred to as « Barrière de Saint Martin »).  (See previous posts about the Bassin and the Canal.)

“La Rotonde” became later a home for the municipal guard and even later – until 1921 – a salt warehouse, and then, until quite recently, it housed some municipal administrations.

21 comments:

Olivier said...

de nuit avec les illuminations, c'est superbe

Starman said...

LOVE the multi-colored cow.

French Girl in Seattle said...

Very interesting Peter. I remember driving by that building but had no idea about all the history behind it. I agree that the special lighting enhances the freshly remodeled structure. Beautiful shots. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Owen said...

Hi Peter, wow, is it always lit up like that at night ? Seems like something from the fête de la lumière in Lyon that was happening again not long ago. Have been to a few concerts at the Zenith, but not for a while, which is nearby... but didn't know about the tax purposes of la Rotonde...

Hope all is well with you, and I'm thinking we are overdue for a walk... maybe one day very soon with some visitors from overseas as we did once before ? That would be fun if it can fall into place...

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Absolutely grand!

ALAIN said...

Il y a encore beaucoup de petits restos, mais ils ne sont plus "tax-free".

Studio at the Farm said...

Fascinating history. I cannot imagine paying a toll to get into a city area.
And I like the striped cow, too!

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

This is fascinating. Gorgeous pics.

Denise

claude said...

C'est la vie en rose et bleu la dedans ! C'est chouette la nuit.
Un petit coup d'oeil au Canal St Martin me met en joie ce matin.

Cergie said...

Je passe souvent le long en voiture en allant de Belleville à Batignolles via Barbès, j'zaime bien le métro aérien. Tu as fait un très beau reportage de nuit.
J'ai bu un coup face aux cinés avec un copain de blog la 1ère fois que je l'ai rencontré lors de Paris Plage, Jonas était son nom à l'époque...

Ruby said...

very interesting pictures!

Cergie said...

(Tu devrais aller trainer tes guêtres du coté du Palis Royal et de son thêatre provioire en bois au milieud des colonnes < vu ds le Parisien ce matin)

Adam said...

I ate there before Christmas - it's pretty good, and certainly a unique location!

SusuPetal said...

Delicious candy colors! Must be a beautiful sight in the evening.

Paris Paul said...

Yay! A post in my backyard! I also appreciated the lesson about the "toll booths". Thanks for the lovely post, Peter.

Bettina said...

Another "must go" to my list.
Thanks for sharing all your research.

Vagabonde said...

The Rotonde certainly looks great. I also liked your collage showing the 93 posts you published last year – what an accomplishment because your posts are always so informative with great accompanying pictures. Maintenant Peter je te souhaite une très bonne année 2012 – que tu nous montres beaucoup de jolies photos de Paris et environs, and also a year with good health and happiness.

Maria O. Russell said...

Did they bring that cow from Stockholm´s Cow Parade?

What a brilliant post!

Ruth said...

Carnation pink and orchid purple were my favorite childhood colors. :-)

Jeanie said...

It's so charming! Especially decked for the holidays!

Trotter said...

Wow! this looks better than the last time I saw it... ;)