Tour de Nesle
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|Tour de Nesle|
|Part of wall of Philippe Auguste|
|Paris in France|
Tour de Nesle in January 1608 (detail from
Patineurs sur la Seine en 1608, Carnavalet Museum)
|Built by||Philippe Auguste|
|Events||Tour de Nesle Affair|
The Tour de Nesle or Nesle's Tower was one of the four large guard towers on the old city wall of Paris, constructed at the beginning of the 13th century by Philip II of France and demolished in 1665.
The tower was situated on the left (south) bank of the Seine facing the old castle of the Louvre on the opposite bank. Originally known as the Tour Hamelin, it was a cylindrical structure of approximately 10 metres in diameter. The height was around 25 metres, with a stair turret reaching higher still. Later, the tower was incorporated into the Hôtel de Nesle, a medieval mansion.
In 1308, Philip IV bought the tower from Amaury de Nesle. In 1319, Philip V donated the building to his Queen Jeanne de Bourgogne and she in her will, left it for the College of Burgundy which she founded for the University of Paris. Demolished in 1665, mansion and tower became the place of the Collège des Quatre-Nations (later occupied by the Institut de France) with the Bibliothèque Mazarine.
In the 19th century, Alexandre Dumas wrote the celebrated romance La Tour de Nesle, in which he portrayed the place as a theatre of orgy and the place of murder of the Queen of France at the beginning of the 14th century, (likely Margaret of Burgundy). His story is based on the fifteenth century legend known as the Tour de Nesle Affair (Affaire de la tour de Nesle), centering on actual events that took place in 1314 where the daughters-in-law of Philip IV were accused of adultery, and their alleged lovers tortured, flayed, and executed.
- Lorentz, Phillipe; Dany Sandron (2006). Atlas de Paris au Moyen Âge. Paris: Parigramme. pp. 238 pp. ISBN 2-84096-402-3.
- Imago Mundi - Tour de Nesle.
The Tour de Nesle in the medieval period as imagined by Viollet-le-Duc. View to the northwest and Seine river. The Porte de Nesle is the gate at center-right.
A plaque on the northern wall of the Institut de France shows the former location of the Tour de Nesle.
Tower and hôtel de Nesle with on the other side of the river the Palais du Louvre (Plan de Truschet & Hoyau, circa 1550)
Plan de Mérian (1615) : at bottom, the tour de Nesle, the hôtel de Nevers, and the ditch
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