We were strolling through Paris on a beautiful Saturday afternoon (I still get a bit giddy saying that), finally making our way to the Latin Quarter to check out the Pantheon. It’s one of those places that might not be high on your list of places to see, however, it’s definitely worth a visit.
History of the Pantheon
Originally the Pantheon was a church dedicated to St. Genevieve. Louis XV had it constructed at the end of the 18th century. Most noteworthy, the Pantheon is a spectacular example of early neoclassicism. Its namesake in Rome provided the inspiration for Pantheon’s design. Alternating between being a church and a mausoleum over the years, it is now the final resting place of France’s many cultural heroes and thinkers.
From the moment you step inside you are awed by the simple yet stunning architectural details. There is an unspoken feeling of being surrounded by greatness while standing inside it. The ground floor, in a shape of a cross, is rather devoid of clutter with stunning columns and incredible ceilings. For me, this was the most stunning part of the place. As a result, I couldn’t’ stop taking pictures.
The sheer space of the place makes you feel very small and insignificant. The building is 110 m (352 ft) in length with a breadth of 85 m (272 ft.) and 85m (272 ft) in height. Here, you will find the model of the mid-19th century pendulum designed by the physicist Leon Foucault. He created it to carry out an experiment to demonstrate the rotation of the earth on its axis.
Crypts of the Pantheon
Underneath the Pantheon are crypts with the remains of France’s intellectual visionaries. Some of the famous names are Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Pierre and Marie Curie, Alexandre Dumas and Soufflot to name a few.
In addition, here you’ll find many images of the Pantheon during its many incarnations. You could probably spend hours inside, admiring all the elements that make this a such an awe-inspiring piece of architecture. It was well worth the 8 Euro (per person).
Have you ever been to the Pantheon in Paris? If not, I definitely recommend it!