Results 1-7of 7 Reviews
Blackburn, England, United Kingdom
October 7, 2011
From journal Top Five Paris Museums
Scarborough, England, United Kingdom
August 17, 2011
From journal Who needs a man to take you to Paris?
Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
July 31, 2007
This is a huge grand building in a neo-classical style that was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. It was intended as the Church of Ste-Genevieve, who is the patron saint of Paris. It was built by Louis XV after he prayed to Sainte Genevieve while ill then he recovered and wished to honour the saint. Work began in 1764, but when it was completed in 1790, the revolution was in full swing and consequently it was named the Pantheon and became the burial place for the great men of Paris. Napoleon did return the building to the Church in 1806, and was handed back and forth several times, until it was finally settled as a civic building in 1885.
The usage of this building is clear from the inscription above the entrance which reads "Aux Grands Hommes la Patrie Reconnaissante" which translated is "To great men the grateful homeland." The crypt under the church is full of tombs of the great men of France. It is covered in marble and consequently it is lovely and cool - and a pleasant break from the stifling heat of Paris in summer. The crypt has tombs of many famed Frenchmen including Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Voltaire, and Alexandre Dumas. However, history was made in 1995 when the first woman was added to the crypt, along with here husband - Marie and Pierre Curie. There was also an exhibit in the crypt about the Curie's lives and work.I was disappointed as the replica of Foucault's pendulum, an experiment that showed that the earth rotated, had been temporarily taken down. It normally hangs from the dome inside the pantheon. The rest of the interior is quite grand but I didn't find it especially interesting.The Pantheon is open daily with times varying on the time of year: from April to September: 10am - 6.30pm and from October to March: 10am - 6.15pm. There is an entrance fee but it is included on the Paris Museum Pass.Considering all the other sights and museums I have seen in Paris, this is probable one of which I would rank low on my priority list of going to visit. If you are in the area, do visit but otherwise think whether this should be on your to-see list or not.
From journal Exploring Paris
Diamond Bar, California
June 14, 2005
The building itself is simply beautiful. It has a solemn atmosphere, but at the same time, it is inviting. It has large open spaces and a mixture of Greek and Gothic architecture. The best free thing that we did on our entire trip was take the tour to the top dome. Be aware, it is about 400 some odd stairs, and you can only see the upper areas with a guide during designated times, but it is definitely worth it. The guides are there more to escort you safely up and down the narrow, twisting staircases than to explain anything, but it is still a must do. Not only do you get close-up views of the frescoes of the domes, but you also get fantastic views of the city (not to mention a workout!).
There is a small fee for admission, but it is included in the museum pass.
From journal Paris for Beginners
November 5, 2002
The foundations were laid in 1758, but due to financial difficulties, it was only completed after Soufflot's death (1780) by his student, Rondelet, in 1789. No sooner completed, than the Revolutionaly government changed its mission from that of a church to that of a mausoleum for the remains of great Frenchmen.
Twice since then it has reverted to being a church, only to become again a temple to the great men of France. Among those buried in its necropolis are Voltaire, Rousseau, Mirabeau, Marat, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, and Soufflot, its architect.
The remains of Jean Moulin - hero of the French Resistence during the Second World War - were moved here by Charles de Gaulle."
We were lucky enough to visit at a time when there weren't a lot of tourists in the building. It was eerily empty, which gave us the opportunity to view the whole building at our own pace. I honestly believe that the Pantheon is the most beautiful building that I have ever seen. I highly recommend going here. Photos are allowed and the crypt is included in your entrance fee.
From journal Autumn Paris
by Lisa MacDonald
Cambridge, United Kingdom
January 6, 2002
Just past the left bank is the Panthéon. The Panthéon was originally a church, transformed by the Revolution into a mausoleum for people like Voltaire and Zola. This was back in the days when your fans and loved ones would pour into the streets upon your death, write lines from your books on banners and wave them around, and carry your coffin to your swanky burial place like the Panthéon. Alternatively, you'd get dug up years after your death and relocated from your original cemetery to get a 5-star room at the Panthéon.
The tombs of the Panthéon are the main attraction, where you can visit the likes of Victor Hugo and the Curies. It’s dark, cold, and quiet – pretty much what you’d expect in a tomb tour. We found it slightly less flashy than what we expected (i.e. most of the tombs are simple white coffins with the names of their inhabitants engraved on the front), and we were a bit disappointed that most of the tombs are kept in small rooms behind iron gates (making picture taking a bit of a challenge).
The Panthéon also contains a working model of Foucault's pendulum. That's right, it's more than just a book by Umberto Eco. Foucault's pendulum experiment was conducted in the Panthéon in 1851, demonstrating the rotation of the earth. The pendulum appears to rotate over a 24 hour period, when in fact, it's the earth that rotates beneath it. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get anywhere near the pendulum, and finding an audio guide that’s either not being used by someone or is in working order is a difficult task. Nevertheless, it’s still a magnificent sight and a fascinating experiment to learn about.
From journal A New Year's Holiday in Paris
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
February 25, 2001
Originally there was a basilica that was built in 6th century, where Genevieve who protected Paris from barbarians was buried and her tomb was the place of pilgrimage. In 18th century a new basilica was built after Louis XV recovered from a serious illness cure of which he attributed to Genevieve. The basilica was designed by the project of Soufflot and completed in 1790 after 26 years of contruction. In 1791 the basilica was converted into a temple for the remains of the great man of France. This is the place where Voltaire, Hugo, Zola, Curies, Malaraux, Saint-Exupery, and many others were laid to rest. The Pantheon became the place that honors great man that served their country and those that died as victims of revolutions, who died for France in WWI and WWII and those who died for their ideals, against any from of slavery. The inscription on the building reads: "to great men the grateful fatherland".
From journal Paris in May, Part II