Archive for March 27th, 2018

March 27, 2018

The Panthéon de Paris!

I have passed it many times and seldom been in it, one of the things in life when one lives so close to so much beauty and architecture. I finally went in once and it was stunning, well like everything in Paris in my opinion. This is the Panthéon de Paris!

It is located in a superb location near the jardin du Luxembourg ; in fact if you stand by the blvd Saint Mchel right out of the gate from the fountain of Marie de Médici you can look straight up Rue Soufflot into it.  Right in front of the Place du Panthéon.  Very appropiate nearby is the library or Bibliothéque Saint Geneviéve as well as the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. RER B Luxembourg can easily take you in this direction and coming from the back you can get there on metro line 10 Cardinal Lemoine. And if like me ,you come by car, there is excellent underground parking Soufflot at 22 Rue Soufflot just in front of the Panthéon.


There are recognised four stages in the life of the Panthéon existance, the first one and oldest is that was there before the Panthéon, in effect, the Church of Sainte Geneviève (1744-1 emper790); which of course, was demolished during the French revolution.

The second period is that of the transformation of monuments to use the scholar choice, meaning the used of these monument to enhance the Republic from the initial years such as (1791-1885). This is when the French revolution welcomes its heroes to the Panthéon with first Mirabeau (1749-1791),one of the great speakers of the revolution. In 1806, emperor  Napoléon Ier (1769-1821)  gives the nave of the Panthéon back to the Catholic Church while the crypts stayed for the cult of personalities.  Under the period of the Restauration (1815-1830), meaning back of the monarchy, king of the French Louis-Philippe 1st (reign of 1830-1848) gave it all back to the Catholic Church .  Finally, in 1851, emperor  Napoléon III (1808-1873)  change the Panthéon to a Church for the last time in its history.

The third period is that of the French Republic laique from 1885-1964 upon the death of  the writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885), a huge crowd follows the funeral car to the Panthéon.  The monument becomes laïque . This period extends all along the IIIe République (1870-1940) , and the IVe République (1947-1958)

The fourth and final period we can call it the Panthéon under the Ve République (since 1958) , when it was open to transfer the ashes of  Resistant hero  Jean Moulin (1899-1943),in 1964.  At the end of this ceremony the funeral speech done by the Minister of cultural affairs André Malraux , the Panthéon  gain little by little its position of all consensus of all the political families. The surveys conducted led to name M. Philippe Bélaval, President of the center for national monuments , manager of the Panthéon under the French Republic.  This report , indicates to allow the admission of ordinary people to better represent the French society by given honors in the future. The ceremony of May 27 2015 when entered into the Panthéon of Pierre Brossolette (1903-1944), Geneviève de Gaulle Anthonioz (1920-2002), Germaine Tillion (1907-2008) ,and Jean Zay (1904-1944) falls into this doctrine.

However, to give you a rough tour of it inside ,we will continue on the first level or principal ground level, and continue around the bearing along the wall to our right and coming across to the right side now, you will see Sainte Geneviéve encouraging the Parisiens to fight against Attila the Hun. Continuing along the right wall, you wil come to Jeanne d’Arc and Saint Louis completing the Christian heroes that are the history of France.  Coming along the right wall as if you were going out of the building now you will see the marches of Attila the Hun and Sainte Geneviéve showing calm to the Parisiens.  And just before the door on the right side wall ,you will see the life of Saint Denis, evangelist of the Gauls and first bishop of Paris.

paris pantheon front ceilings feb14

You will go back now to the aforemention stairs and go down to the Crypt. First tomb is that of the heart of Léon Gambetta (1838-1882) with an urn in glass, the III Republic transfer it here in Nov 11 1920 in honor of its founder.  In the lobby the first part of the crypt welcomes face to face the tombs of Voltaire, with beforehand by his statue in stone by Houdon(sculptor) and Rousseau with a look of rustic temple simulating his theories on nature. The tomb of Soufflot joined them in 1829.  In the west wing to the right you will see the 41 great men of the Empire at the other side of the rotonda, they were put here beginning in 1806 by Imperial decree ,amongst them, Portalis,and Tronchet, the writer of the Civil Code of France. In the same west wing but to the left, you see Victor Schoelcher marking the aboliton of slavery, and next to Jéan Jaurés, father of French socialism killed in 1914, as well as Félix Eboué,first French resistant fighter from the territories.  You will see here too, Victor Hugo and Emile Zola, two writers of renown who fought for the liberties of all.  In 2002, the ashes of Alexandre Dumas, were deposited here too.  The personalities transfer here for the centenary of the French revolution comes before the tomb of Maréchal Lannes. In the north wing, you will see the tombs of Jean Moulin, hero of the Resistance movement in WWII and André Malraux, writer and  alongside Jean Monnet (created the European Union), as well as René Cassin, spiritual father of the universal declaration of the rights of man and citizens adopted by the UN in 1948. In the caves that follows rest the personalities deposited during the bicentennial of the French revolution and a bit further away those of Pierre and Marie Curie, Nobel prize in physics on radium.

You can go to the high exterior columns to the base of the dome or coupola for a magnificent view of Paris, go there !  So it is a recommended detour when in Paris to see it. It is the very best of France.  For easy reference I put the offical webpage in English here: site of the Panthéon de Paris


front side of Panthéon de Paris

Enjoy it ,its Paris where else! The Panthéon of Paris. Happy travels, good health and good cheers to all!!!.


Tags: , ,
March 27, 2018

The Churches of Paris with a twist!

And continuing with our sunny days and no rain, let me bring you up to speed or kneeling position with the Churches of Paris. I have written blog posts before that you can search for more info here.

We do come to Paris or any other city in Europe especially, and one of the thing to do is to see these wonderful monuments to the architecture genious of the past. Even if we are not religious ,these stands as a place worth the detour.

Paris has a small anglo saxon/American Catholic Church, that of Saint Joseph at 50 avenue Hoche near the Arc de Triomphe. The Church was built by Passionate Fathers in 1868 and the new Church was done in 1987. Hardly recognisable as a Church but rather a modern building.  Parish for the English-speaking Catholic Community of Paris.  Regular Masses: Monday to Friday 8h30; Saturday 11h & 18h30 (Vigil); Sunday 9h30, 11h, 12h30, 18h30. For details of weekly activities please contact us at +33 (0) You get there on the metro CDG Etoile lines  1, 2, 6 & RER A.  The official site was not working when I try it but maybe is my firewall. It is here: Saint Joseph Catholic Church Paris

Couple of sites with info on it are:  Religious heritage Saint Joseph Church

The Paris tourist office: Paris Tourism on Saint Joseph

And their Facebook page : Facebook St Joseph Church

We then move on to the American Church.

The American Church was the first American Church to established themselves outside the USA.  It was created in 1814 ; located at 65, Quai d’Orsay, in the 7éme arrondissement, not far from the Seine river. The current Church was built in 1931.

By 1814, many Protestants Americans in Paris were welcome in homes around Paris than on a temple de l’Oratoire du Louvre from  1816 under the protection of  Talleyrand.  The first American Chapel was built in 1857 at 21, rue de Berri.  It was in 1858 that emperor Napoléon III  officially recognized the American Church of Paris. In  1925, the Church acquired land on the quai d’Orsay  and ordered architect Carrol Greenough  the construction of a big neo gothic Church.  The construction was finished on March 6 1931 even if the first stone was done on March 1st 1926. The American Church is frequented by anglo saxons Protestants of Paris coming from 40 different countries and 35 Christian groups at last count.

The stained glass on the north and those on the nerf are all the same dimensions. Some themes on the glass gives honor to the American fallen in WWI. The Organ buffet has gothic sculptures  and the organ has four keyboards and  3 375 ring cables manufacture in Hambourg,Germany ; and open up with a series of concerts in 1988. The Chapel has a portrait as Christ looking at Jerusalem by a  Canadien Frank M. Armington that was behind the altar but now moved to give space to the organ . the nearest metro station is Invalides  lines 8 and 13 and the gare des Invalides RER C is close by.

American Church webpage: American Church

Paris tourist office on it: Paris Tourism on American Church

Their Facebook page: Facebook American Church

I must say here that the two above I have been maybe once or twice since been in France; and especially the American Church is worth a detour for tourist reasons alone.

Now this one , I have been several times. The American Cathedral of Paris.


American Cathedral shot from pont de l’Alma

The American Cathedral also known as the  Holy Trinity Cathedral or Cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité  is an American Church dating from the end of the 19C of the Anglican cult and serving as the Cathedral of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe of the Episcopal Church of the United States.  It is located wonderfully at  23, avenue George-V near the Champs-Élysées and Pont de l’Alma in the 8éme arrondissement.  The origins dates back to the 1830s when American Episcopalians began to meet together for services in the garden pavilion of the Hôtel Matignon, now the official residence of the French prime minister, then the home of American expatriate Colonel Herman Thorn (1783–1859).  In 1859, the formal establishment of a parish took place and in 1864 the first church building was consecrated on Rue Bayard . The Consecration of the church took place on Thanksgiving Day on November 25, 1886, which coincided with the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in New York. Holy Trinity became a cathedral in 1922, continuing as a parish church and also serving as the official seat of the bishop in charge of Episcopal churches in Europe.

It was built from 1881 on a neo gothic style under the plans of English architect George Edmund Street, and opened in 1886.  The stained glass which numbered 42 came from glassmaker  James Bell, that did them from 1883 to 1893 on the theme of Te Deum. It was later completed by the addition of a arrow tower designed between 1904-1906 by Arthur Edmond Street, son of the original architect that had passed away. Later in  1911 was added a presbytery , and finally in  1923  a memorial to the fallen American soldiers of WWI.

You have many concerts held here that are nice indeed; and well located to do all the good things you all enjoy of Paris. The Cathedral was recently renovated especially the tower and the stained glass by a donation from the US base World Monument Fund.

webpage here: World Monument Fund

The official webpage : American Cathedral Paris

Paris Tourism: Paris Tourism American Cathedral

Facebook page: Facebook American Cathedral

There you go something different from your regular visits to our beautiful Paris, eternal and well beyond words Paris. I hope you have enjoyed the trip and do see these off the beaten path wonderful places of my Paris.

Enjoy your week wherever you are, happy travels, good health and live life to the fullest. Cheers!



%d bloggers like this: