Lovers Keep Warm in the Jardin des Halles

One of the other points of interest in the Les Halles section, if you care to walk about a bit, are the Bourse du Commerce, or the grain exchange, which is housed in the circular building found at the extreme western end of the market. This is a "modern" building, built in the 18th century, and later modified in the 19th. The present rotunda built in 1889 replaced a wheat market built during Louis XVI's reign. It stands on the site of a palace Catherine de Medici built here in 1537 for her residence after an astrologer had told her to beware of the neighborhood of Saint Germaine-l'Auxerrois. This palace was demolished in 1748, but the one-hundred-foot high tower, which looks like a Doric column, was left standing. The column to the south of the building is thought to have been used by the astrologer Ruggieri as an observatory.

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