Le Panthéon

By annesophie | March 3, 2011 | Filed under: Buildings

This basilica would be a fitting tribute to any number of great people from French history. King Louis XV commissioned the architect Soufflot to design a great building for him in 1755. It was to be dedicated to Saint Geneviéve who was buried in an earlier basilica in 512 and whom the king credited with the cure of his serious illness. It took 26 years from the time the king laid the first stone in 1764 until the building was completed – the last ten years of which were completed by Sufflot’s associate, Rondelet — in 1790.

Inside the civic temple the central space beneath the dome is dominated by Foucault’s pendulum, swinging back and forth. Displays on either side of the pendulum offer headsets with information on the pendulum in both French and English. The walls inside are decorated with paintings added later in 1874, depicting the stories of Saint Geneviéve and of the Christian and monarchic origins of France. Walk around to the back of the building and head down to the crypt — its dimly lit space is filled with vaults containing the remains of many great public figures. Head back up the same steps for a view of the basilica from the back. To one side, a circular chapel contains a model of the Panthéon, created by Rondelet.

If there is energy to spare, visit the upper areas for a closer glimpse of the dome. The external colonnade around the dome provides visitors with a panoramic view of Paris.

Panthéon (photo : photoserge.com)

Panthéon (photo : photoserge.com)

Suggested Hotels


Hotel Cujas - http://www.cujas-pantheon-paris-hotel.com/

Tags: 5th, latin quarter, luxembourg park

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