HD photographs of the Barriere d'Enfer buildings inside Place Denfert-Rochereau - Page 3
While within the 14th Arrondissement of Paris at the Place Denfert-Rochereau, we took these high definition photos showing two historical pavilions called the Barriere d'Enfer.
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This first HD photo shows one of two pavilions that are located opposite each other, and it was the architect Claude Nicolas Ledoux who was commissioned to come up with the design of these, along with many other buildings to form part of a wall called the Mur des Fermiers Generaux, which translates in English to Wall of the Farmers General.
Now this particular pavilion was constructed back in 1783 and was positioned on the Rue d'Enfer, with the other identical building being on the opposite side of the road, and hence they became known as the Barriere d'Enfer, yet the name of the road translates in English to Road of Hell, and therefore these got nicknamed the Gates of Hell.
So when you look back at the history of Paris, you will discover that this wall and its buildings were constructed in order to collect taxes from good entering the city, so they were classed as toll houses, but this entire project was not at all liked and only a few years after implementation it was stopped, but then re-introduced and only ended in the mid 1800s.
But this next close up photo shows the ornate lamp hanging in the centre of the arch above the door on the eastern Barriere d'Enfer Pavilion, and these two historical buildings are sometimes referred to as Les Pavillons d'Octroi de Ledoux, and the Octroi is the name for the tax that was placed on certain goods that entered Paris through these tax offices.
So as you are looking at the facade of the eastern Barriere d'Enfer Pavilion from the Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, this is the right hand side corner where you can also see that it states Defense d'Afficher, yet sometimes the building is also referred to as Pavilon d'Enfer.
However, this HD photo shows the western building of the Barriere d'Enfer, and you will find that even thou over fifty different buildings were constructed for the collection of taxes known as an Octroi, unfortunately there are very few remaining, which is why these two pavilions have been classified as historical monuments in Paris.
Now this photo shows a small section of the Barriere d'Enfer with a clock and plaque surrounded by the original metal grills that were put in place during the construction of this building, and fortunately this was spared from destruction during the French Revolution, although many of these toll houses were destroyed then, or during the reorganisation of Paris through Baron Haussmann,
And here you can see additional grills covering the windows that were a feature utilised for both of Les Pavillons d'Octroi de Ledoux, which were in the original designs by Claude Nicolas Ledoux for the Wall of the Farmers General and its toll houses, which make the building look exceedingly daunting and ominous.
Although, as you can see here, there are other architectural features that also make these pavilions even more daunting, like the stone slabs that make the building seem even more like barriers in their own rights, along with the slabs of stone going around the archways of the doors, etc.
But this is a view looking down the street at the facade of the western Barriere d'Enfer from the left hand side, and although they were stopped being used as toll houses back in the mid 1800s, today, they are still used as different offices, so unfortunately, you cannot venture inside, but you can still admire these historical buildings, yet now there are only four different areas of Paris that you can find this part of its history.
Yet here you can see a close up of the old clock located on the western Barriere d'Enfer surrounded by metal grills that cover different parts of this neoclassical styled building, and this clock was still working when we took this photograph.
Whereas this is a close up photo of the plaque located just beneath the clock behind the grills, and we are not exactly sure what this relates to, but in English it translates from top to bottom as City of Paris, Unification of the Hour, Centre Schedule.
Getting back to some of the architecture on the Barriere d'Enfer buildings, as you can see, just underneath the roofs of these, there are friezes, which actually depict people dancing, providing a softer touch to the imposing pavilions, and these friezes were apparently sculpted by Jean Guillaume Moitte who also worked on another famous tourist attraction in Paris called The Pantheon.
Here you can see a plaque that has been fixed to the western Pavillon d'Enfer talking about Colonel Rol who was chief of the French Forces of the Interior, which was the official name for the French Resistance fighters, and this gentleman was instrumental in the Liberation of Paris, and it was beneath this building that he had his headquarters during World War II.
Now this shows the entrance to one of the Barriere d'Enfer buildings, also known as Les Pavilions d'Octroi de Ledoux, and a notice on the wall stated Materials Testing Laboratory, however, going to the right hand side there were models on display showing streets, buildings and the different layers beneath.
However, this image shows a close up photo we took of another plaque that was attached to one of the Barriere d'Enfer buildings back in 1931 by the City of Paris, and this reads Ancient Wall of Paris 1783 - 1859, Barriere d'Enfer, Constructed by Claude Nicolas Le Doux, but notice the architects name is spelt as separates here, whereas normally his surname is spelt Ledoux.
Plus this plaque states 1783 - 1859, which is supposed to be the years from construction of the Wall of the Farmers General along with when the toll houses were constructed, through to when the tax was officially stopped. Yet the shield stating the History of Paris relating to these two pavilions states 1784 that the Pavillons d'Octroi de Ledoux were constructed.
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