Paris Pantheon is a temple dedicated to commemorate important people of the Nation.
Before its civic vocation, the Pantheon in Paris was a church built by the King Louis XV. The Pantheon as a church was dedicated by Louis XV to Sainte Genevieve after his recovery from a serious illness in 1744.
The construction of the Pantheon was directed by architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot.
If you hadn't guessed, Jacques-Germain Soufflot inspiration came from the Pantheon in Rome, Italy – and by inspiration we pretty much mean "a nice copy the Pantheon in Rome"!
That's why Paris Pantheon is a mix between Greek-Roman style (look at the columns in the front) and French Gothic style (see the arched curved wall from the inside).
Main things to see and know about Paris Pantheon:
In 1791, two years after the French Revolution, the Pantheon became a civilian monument to honor very important people for the Nation.
Important figures you will find in Pantheon crypt:
- Republican defenders:
- Voltaire, Rousseau, Mirabeau (popular writer & philosopher during the Age of Enlightenment)
- André Malraux, Jean Moulin, René Cassin (famous for resistance against Nazism during WW2)
- Félix Eboué (fight against slavery & colonialism)
- Jean Monet (founder of the European Economic Community)
- Writers – Novelists (with important political influence):
- Victor Hugo – Victor Hugo fought for women's rights, free education, and abolition of the death penalty…
- Alexandre Dumas – author of the "Three Musketeers" story which is a political and historical novel about 3 Musketeers of the King Louis XIII and his minister Richelieu who wanted to seize power.
- Emile Zola – Emile Zola wanted equal rights and justice for all people, whatever their origins or religion (see Dreyfus affair for more info)
- Scientist – Physicians:
- Pierre & Marie (Maria Skłodowska) Curie discovered radium and polonium. Two nuclear elements which are used today, either as medicinal radiotherapy treatment for cancer, or as a resource for nuclear energy.
On the main floor you will see paintings and sculptures dedicated to the church and to the Republic.
Under the cupola you will see Leon Foucault'sscientific demonstration that proves the earth is rotating.
This crazy shit is demonstrated by the constantly swinging motion of a pendulum. The pendulum never remains on the same level of the scale because its response to the Earth's rotation.
Paris Pantheon is definitely worth seeing ;).
A sample of Paris Pantheon:
How to get to the Pantheon: Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris
- RER B Luxembourg (exit n°2 towards Jardin du Luxembourg, Rue Gay Lussac)
Velib' (City Bike): 5032 Valette – 5012 Estrapade – 5006 Saint Jacques
Noctilien (Night Bus): N14-N21-N122 Luxembourg