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Moulins tower and the jacquemarts

The jacquemarts | GO69 / CC-BY-SA
Belfry Jacquemart tower in Moulins

The first mention of the belfry dates back to 1408. Later they put a clock inside, and a kind of weathercock.

But in 1451, some bourgeois decided to extend the belfry: building works of the current one began in 1451, and were finished in 1455.

At the top of the building, we can see 4 jacquemarts (small bell-strikers with their hammer), flanked by a dial, decorated by allegorical figures.

But a fire started on the night of November 20th 1655, a terrible blaze which destroyed the clock, bells, the jacquemarts and the belfry itself... Immediately, they restored the tower and they added an octagonal lantern which housed three new bells.

Meanwhile, small shops were raised all around the belfry, on the square, so they had to demolish them in 1752 in order to clear out the place.

The clock was altered in 1767. One of the jacquemarts was dressed up as a garde-française (a French soldier) and the bell-tower was decorated with a golden crown. This crown disappeared in 1793, during the French Revolution...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!