This here is the Eglise St-Julien, at dusk. I knew nothing about it at the time, but I was walking past and was completely fascinated by the swallows. We don’t get swallows in Australia!
According to Wikipedia, though, the building dates to the 13th century, but it belonged to a Benedictine abbey, which itself dated to the 6th century. I wonder if the tower might be a reconstruction or restoration of part of the 11th century building, rather than a complete fresh start after the nave collapsed in 1224, because that does not look like a typical 13th century tower to me. It’s got buttresses going on, yes, but it’s much, much more square than the shiny gothic facade on the other side.
At any rate, the whole thing’s a wine museum, now.
Speaking of very square things:
The Tour de Horloge (clock tower), surviving from the original Romanesque basilica of St Martin de Tours. Some of the foundations might go back to the original 11th-century building, but I think most of it is from the 13th-century Romanesque basilica. (So perhaps I shouldn’t doubt St-Julien’s 13th-century credentials; I wouldn’t, if the rest of that church weren’t so screamingly Gothic.) I’m getting the impression that Tours wasn’t exactly at the forefront of architectural innovation in the Middle Ages.
You can see here where the basilica adjoined the tower, and something of its style of decoration. That building lasted a good while, only to be destroyed by the Hugenots in the 18th century. So determined were they that St Martins should not be rebuilt, they put two whacking great roads through the area.
But never fear! A new St Martins was erected in the 19th century! It is, quite frankly, hideous. Although quite interesting – Neo-Byzantine architecture isn’t something I’ve had much cause to encounter.
There’s also the Tour de Charlemagne, but I liked the clock tower better.
Tours: full of towers. Who would’ve guessed?