Pantheon

Mausoleum of the Great

Pantheon, Paris
Pantheon Hours and Admissions
Metro: Cardinale Lemoine
RER: Luxembourg
Arrondissement: 5eme

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The construction of the Pantheon began in 1758, directed by architect Jacques Germain Soufflot (1713-1780). It was built to be a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, on the same site as the then standing, though falling into ruins, Abbey of St. Genevieve.

Its construction was ordered by Louis XV after he had recovered from a near fatal illness in 1744.

The Pantheon sits atop Mont Sainte Geneviève, in the Latin Quarter, and is one of the more noticeable landmarks of Paris. It stands next to the church of Saint Etienne du Mont.

Following Sufflot's death, the building was completed by Jean Baptiste Rondelet in 1789.

After the French Revolution, the building lost its role as a church and became the mausoleum for the entombment of great Frenchmen. (Actually, two women are also entombed here: Sophie Berthelet, who was entombed with her husband, Marcellin, in 1907; and Marie Curie, entombed in 1995.)

An inscription above the entrance reads "Aux Grandes Hommes La Patrie Reconnaisante", "To Its Great Men The Grateful Homeland". There is also a sculpture in bas-relief by David d'Anger.

It is built in the style of Neoclassicism, the first in Paris, which breaks from the rococo style and the baroque, emphasizing simplicity and grandeur. It set the standard for other monuments built in the same style such as the Arc de Triomphe and the church La Madeleine.

The Pantheon in Paris is modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, as well as St. Paul's cathedral in London, and is in the shape of a Greek Cross. Its façade is that of a Greek temple and is distinguished with 18 Corinthian columns. The building itself is 110 meters in length (350 feet), 84 meters wide (270 feet) and 83 meters high (270 feet).

The interior of the dome is decorated with a fresco, "Assumption of St. Genevieve" (1811). The walls have frescoes by Puvis de Chavannes depicting the life of Sainte Geneviève and frescoes of Charlemagne, Louis IX and Joan of Arc.

In 1806, Napoleon gave the building back to the Church. From 1831 to 1852, it was again property of the State. Then, again a place of worship before being finally being returned as a public building in 1885.

On February 3, 1851, Leon Foucault first publicly exhibited his now famous Foucault Pendulum in the Observatoire de Paris. Prince Louis Napoleon, the future Napoleon III, asked for another demonstration on March 26, 1851, to be presented in the Pantheon. This revolutionary demonstration provided the proof, and still does, that the earth does, in fact, spin on its axis.

Since 1855, Foucault's Pendulum has been hanging and swinging in the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. During the recent renovation of this building, the 67 meter Pendulum had a temporary home in the Pantheon. It has since returned to the Musée des Arts et Métiers where it can be viewed.

The most recent entombment into the Pantheon was that of Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870). It took place on November 30, 2002. His remains had been transported from his original burial grounds in Aisne, France.

Pantheon Hours and Admissions

The Panthéon is open every day from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. The last entrance is at 5:45 p.m. The last entrance for the Upper Level is 5:15 p.m. The last entrance for the Crypt is 6:10 p.m.

Admission Fees are:7.50 euros for adults; 4.80 euros for those between 18-25 years of age; free for those under 18 years of age.

There are 206 steps to climb to the Upper Level, making an elevation change of 35 meters.

Chronological List of Those Entombed in the Pantheon

  • 1791 Honoré Mirabeau (removed in 1794)

  • 1791 Voltaire

  • 1792 Nicolas-Joseph Beaurepaire (disappeared)

  • 1793 Louis Michel Le Peletier de Saint Fargea (removed)

  • 1793 Augustin-Marie Picot, marquis de Dampierre (disappeared)

  • 1794 Jean-Paul Marat (removed)

  • 1794 Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  • 1806 Claude-Louis Petiet

  • 1806 François Denis Tronchet

  • 1807 Jean-Étienne-Marie Portalis

  • 1807 Louis-Pierre-Pantaléon Resnier

  • 1807 Louis-Joseph-Charles-Amable d'Albert, duc de Luynes (removed)

  • 1807 Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Bévière

  • 1808 Francois Barthélemy, comte Béguinot

  • 1808 Pierre Jean George Cabanis

  • 1808 Gabriel-Louis, marquis de Caulaincourt

  • 1808 Jean-Frédéric, comte de Perrégaux

  • 1808 Antoine-César de Choiseul, duc de Praslin

  • 1808 Jean-Pierre-Firmin, comte Malher (urn with his heart)

  • 1809 Jean Baptiste Papin, comte de Saint-Christau

  • 1809 Joseph-Marie, comte Vien

  • 1809 Pierre Garnier, comte de Laboissière

  • 1809 Jean Pierre, comte Sers (urn with his heart)

  • 1809 Jérôme-Louis-François-Joseph, comte de Durazzo (urn with his heart)

  • 1809 Justin-Bonaventure, comte Morard de Galles (urn with his heart)

  • 1809 Emmanuel Crétet, comte de Champnol

  • 1810 Giovanni Baptista, cardinal Caprara

  • 1810 Louis-Joseph-Vincent-Leblon, comte de Saint-Hilaire

  • 1810 Jean-Baptiste, comte Treilhard

  • 1810 Jean Lannes, duc de Montebello

  • 1810 Charles-Pierre-Claret, comte de Fleurieu de La Tourette

  • 1811 Louis Antoine de Bougainville

  • 1811 Charles, cardinal Erskine of Kellie

  • 1811 Alexandre-Antoine Hureau, baron de Sénarmont (urn with his heart)

  • 1811 Ippolito Antonio, cardinal Vicenti Mareri

  • 1811 Nicolas-Marie, comte de Songis des Courbons

  • 1811 Michel, comte Ordener

  • 1812 Jean-Marie-François Lepaige, comte Dorsenne

  • 1812 Jean Guillaume De Winter, comte de Huessen

  • 1813 Hyacinthe-Hugues-Timoléon de Cossé, comte de Brissac

  • 1813 Jean-Ignace Jacqueminot, comte de Ham

  • 1813 Joseph Louis, comte Lagrange

  • 1813 Jean, comte Rousseau

  • 1813 François-Marie-Joseph-Justin, comte de Viry

  • 1814 Jean-Nicolas, comte Démeunier

  • 1814 Jean-Louis-Ebenezer, comte Reynier

  • 1814 Claude-Ambroise Régnier, duc de Massa di Carrara

  • 1815 Antoine-Jean-Marie, comte Thévenard

  • 1815 Claude-Juste-Alexandre, comte Legrand

  • 1829 Jacques-Germain Soufflot

  • 1885 Victor Hugo

  • 1889 Lazare Carnot

  • 1889 Théophile-Malo Corret de la Tour d'Auvergne

  • 1889 Jean-Baptiste Baudin

  • 1889 François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers

  • 1894 Marie François Sadi Carnot

  • 1907 Marcellin Berthelot

  • 1908 Émile Zola

  • 1920 Léon Gambetta (urn with his heart)

  • 1924 Jean Jaurès

  • 1933 Paul Painlevé

  • 1948 Paul Langevin

  • 1948 Jean Perrin (entombed the same day as Paul Langevin)

  • 1949 Félix Éboué (1st "colored" person entombed here)

  • 1949 Victor Schoelcher

  • 1952 Louis Braille

  • 1964 Jean Moulin

  • 1987 René Cassin

  • 1988 Jean Monnet

  • 1989 Abbé Baptiste-Henri Grégoire

  • 1989 Gaspard Monge

  • 1989 Marquis de Condorcet

  • 1995 Pierre Curie

  • 1995 Marie Curie (1st woman entombed in the Panthéon for her works)

  • 1996 André Malraux

  • 2002 Alexandre Dumas

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