- This article is about the building. You may be looking for the memory.
The Halle aux Blés, also known as the Halle aux Grains, is a former grain storage building in Paris.
In the late 12th century, various markets and fairs were established in a place called Les Champeaux under Philip II. This quarter later evolved into what became known as Les Halles. As the markets grew however, the adjacent streets became increasingly trafficated, and shipping grain became complicated and slow.
During the 18th century, the city of Paris decided to simplify the transport and stocking of grain by building a more easily accessible building. In 1775, land on which the remainders of Catherine de' Medici's Hôtel de la Reine stood in the form of the Medici Tower was purchased for the Halle aux Blés. The new building was constructed in a circular structure. Originally built without a roof, a wooden cupola was added to the Halle aux Blés in 1782, so as to protect the grain from rain and other weather events.
French Revolution and modern times
By March 1791, the Halle aux Blés was used by the Templar Chrétien Lafrenière to store gunpowder and weapons, including rifles from Bavaria. François-Thomas Germain had taken over most of the Templar Order, and supported the French Revolution. A conservative Templar, Lafrenière sought to attack the Hôtel de Beauvais and eliminate Germain and his radical faction of the Templar Order. However, one of Lafrenière's men, Christophe, had revealed this to Germain, forcing the former to commence the attack with haste.
In the meantime, Germain, pretending to be an innocent silversmith, manipulated the Assassin Arno Dorian into believing that Lafrenière had been responsible for the takeover of the Templar Order. After hearing from Germain of Lafrenière's shipments at the Halle aux Blés, Arno infiltrated the building. There, he discovered that Lafrenière would host a Templar meeting at the Holy Innocents' Cemetery.
He then decided to destroy the powder stores by lighting several fires in the building. As fires erupted and the gunpowder exploded, Arno reached the top of the building, before an explosion knocked him safely onto the Medici Tower.
The Halle aux Blés would continue to be plagued by fires, until it received an iron cupola in the late 19th century. No longer a grain storage, it is now used as Paris' goods exchange.