The Panthéon of Paris!!

Ok so let me update this popular spot in my eternal Paris. Actually , I have to admit was always going to the nearby Jardin du Luxembourg (see posts) , and look at this building and told me ahh that must be the Panthéon so went for a peek. It is an awesome building and worth the visit at least once me think. The Dome was been renovated on this trip as shown in pictures. Hope you enjoy the update on the Panthéon of 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, 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.

paris pantheon cupola work feb14

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. Later , for business trip I took the bus line 82 which stops right next to the Jardin du Luxembourg.

paris pantheon side front ceilings feb14

At the Panthéon, they have organised it into 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 (1744-1790); which of course, was demolished during the French revolution.

paris pantheon ceilings front feb14

The second period is that of the transformation of monuments to use the scholar choice, meaning the used of these monument to enhance the French Republic from the initial years such as (1791-1885). This is when the French revolution welcomes its heroes to the Panthéon with first Mirabeau ,one of the great speakers of the revolution. In 1806, Emperor  Napoléon Ier gave 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, 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 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 , 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 ,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 ,indicated how 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 , Geneviève de Gaulle Anthonioz , Germaine Tillion ,and Jean Zay ( my boys middle school was name after this resistance fighter) 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.

You will go back now to the stairs and go down to the Crypt. First tomb is that of the heart of Léon Gambetta  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 cellars 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.

paris pantheon front feb14

The offical Panthéon of Paris webpage in English:

The Paris tourist office on the Panthéon

Enjoy it as I do; after all Paris is eternal as they are! The Panthéon of Paris see it. And remember, happy travels, good health and good cheers to all!!!

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