In a previous post, I mentioned how the second day here I walked along the Canal St Martin to the Rotonde de la Villette. I wanted to see the building because it’s considered a significant example of neo-classical architecture. The Rotonde de la Villette, also called the Barrier of Saint Martin, is one of the propylaea designed by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux between 1784 and 1788.
In the late eighteenth century a wall was built around Paris called the wall of the Fermiers-généraux which was to prevent goods entering the city from avoiding a local tax called the octroi. The sixty-two propylaea functioned as toll barriers.
The severe symmetry and classical forms recall the work of Palladio. However, the purity and simplification of forms are far more extreme.
Unfortunately, there was some work going on around the building the day I was there.