The Pantheon

The Pantheon is the place where some of France’s greatest personalities are entombed. Initially, it was designed as a church, in the honor of Sainte Genevieve, the patron of Paris. King Louis XV ordered this construction to the Marquis de Marigny, after he recovered from a severe illness, in 1744. The grandiose project of the architect Jacques-Germain Sufflot began in 1755, but took 34 years to be completed.

During the French revolution, the National Assembly proposed and voted that this be the burial place for the earthly remains of the country’s most worthy men. Although it functioned as a church again, beginning with 1806, some half a century later, it returned to the purpose designated by the revolutionary regime.

The building has the plan of a Greek Cross, with a 83 m tall Dome. The building’s portico has Corinthians columns, being modeled after the one built in Rome, in the 2nd century AD.

The Pantheon, Paris

The crypt shelters great artists, writers and scientists. Zola, Hugo, Monnet, Voltaire, Marie and Pierre Curie are only some of the personalities whose remains are honored here.

The famous experiment known as “the Foucault’s pendulum” was also organized here, its purpose being to demonstrate that the Earth spins around its own axis. Moved in 1851 to the Conservatoire, the pendulum returned to its original location in 1995. For all these reasons, and others more, The Pantheon is certainly worth visiting.

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