The Pantheon is a famous building located in the fifth arrondissement of Paris. It is a neoclassical church located in the Latin Quarter of Paris, known for its architectural design and construction along with its rich historical background. The Pantheon is included as a must-see place in various Paris private tour programs and attracts a steady stream of visitors from all across the world.
The Pantheon is an awe-inspiring monument and most visitors look for the complex architecture and the relation of the building with the past. Visiting the Pantheon is a great way to know more about the past of Paris. Below are some informative facts about the Pantheon that will definitely help you in your next Paris tour.
Initially a Church
The Pantheon was initially a fully functioning church when it was first designed. It was built to commemorate St. Genevieve, a saint who was believed to have rescued the place by a mass prayer. King Louis XV commissioned the building of the Pantheon on behalf of a vow taken to restore the ruined church of Abbey of St. Genevieve. The initial foundations of the Pantheon were laid in 1758 and the construction got completed in 1790.
Neoclassical and Gothic Architecture
The Pantheon is an excellent combination of two of the best styles of architecture, the neoclassical and gothic style. The famed architect Jacques-German Soufflot designed the Pantheon with its exteriors influenced from the Roman architecture of ancient times. The spired dome atop the church is another distinctive architectural feature of the Pantheon. The interiors of the Pantheon features a gothic styled architecture and it is one of the most distinctive churches in Paris.
Burial Site of Famed Writers
The Pantheon is the burial place of many famous writers and philosophers and filmmakers of France. Some of the most prominent persons buried in the pantheon are Jean Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Alexandre Dumas, and Emile Zola. In fact, burial in the Pantheon was seen as a way to celebrate the lives of many prominent figures of France.
The Pantheon was seen as a sign of the reigning monarch during the French revolution. The new government formed after the revolution altered the Pantheon as a place to commemorate the people who have perished while fighting for the revolution and other prominent figures.
The Pantheon holds a rich collection of artworks such as painted frescos, mosaics, and paintings that depict St. Genevieve. This impressive collection of artworks is on part with some of the museums in Paris and is a great way to get acquainted with the influential periods of French history.