La Rotonde de la Villette

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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.

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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.

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The severe symmetry and classical forms recall the work of Palladio. However, the purity and simplification of forms are far more extreme.

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Unfortunately, there was some work going on around the building the day I was there.

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2 comments
  1. Looks like a great place. I see you already mentioned it; among the buildings I would love to visit are the Villa Rotonda and Taj Mahal for their symmetry.
    Just look at

    • fojap said:

      I’ve always wanted to see the Villa Rotonda. The Taj Mahal would be nice, too, but it’s less likely just because India would be a bigger trip for me. One day, I’m going to get to Rome. (I know the Villa Rotonda is no where near Rome – I’m just free associating.)

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