At the end of the 12th century, King Philippe Auguste established different markets and fairs in a place called Les Champeaux, which later evolved in the Les Halles quarter. However, as the markets grew, the streets around became increasingly congested. Shipping grain through the traffic became complicated and slow.
In the 18th century, the city of Paris decided to simplify the grain transport and stocking by building a more easily accessible Halle aux Blés. The land was purchased in 1755 and a ring-shaped structure was built there. Initially roofless, in 1782 a wooden cupola was added to protect the grain from rain and other weather events.*
* It is unbelievable it took that long.
"Hey, let's store all our grain in this big wide-open thing!"
"Oui! But should we add a roof to protect our precious stock from the elements, contamination, wildlife and theft?"
"Er - I think we'll be fine, little Jimmy Nerdface... run along now..."
After several fires, the building received an iron cupola at the end of the 19th century. It no longer contains grain but is kept in use as Paris' goods exchange.