The Panthéon, Paris

“King Louis XV vowed in 1744 that if he recovered from an illness he would replace the ruined church of Sainte-Geneviève with an edifice worthy of the patron saint of Paris.”

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

He did recover, and that’s how this grandiose edifice was built under the architect Soufflot, completed by the start of the French Revolution. They changed it from being a church into a mausoleum for war heroes. “Twice since then it has reverted to being a church, only to become again a temple to the great intellectuals of France.”

inside the Pantheon

inside the Pantheon

The cupola of the Pantheon

The cupola of the Pantheon

I also read that Rodin’s Thinker was housed here for a short period of time (of which you can read here).

heroic statues in the Pantheon

heroic statues in the Pantheon

I found it really weird that there was a huge pendulum present in the mausoleum. I didn’t know what it was and nobody there could tell me, so when I came home I had to google it. Turns out, a physicist (named Léon Foucault) wanted to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth with the help of an experiment with a pendulum (later named after him), which is actually 67 meters tall!

the pendulum in the Pantheon

the pendulum in the Pantheon

There are a number of renown people buried in the mausoleum. Actually, the writing on the facade of the building actually means “To the great men, the grateful homeland”. We could saw Victor Hugo’s, Émile Zola‘sLouis Braille‘sJean Monnet‘s, Marie Curie‘s and Alexandre Dumas‘s graves (among many other notable personas).

Victor Hugo's & Alexandre Dumas's coffins

Victor Hugo’s & Alexandre Dumas’s coffins

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