Although it is not the most famous monument in Paris or the most prominent in the guides of the French capital, the Pantheon is an essential visit if you go to the city of light.
It was the first great monument to be built in Paris, long before the Eiffel Tower and the first place from which Paris could be seen from above.
In it are the tombs of important French historical figures and in its superb interior you can admire the Foucault Pendulum.
The facade of the Pantheon in Paris and its dome
The first thing that stands out when you see the Pantheon is its imposing neoclassical façade, which was inspired by the Pantheon of Agrippa in Rome.
The pediment is decorated with different characters that represent freedom and history.
The sciences, the arts and justice are also represented on its façade.
And above it stands the great hemispherical dome crowned by a lantern supported by several Corinthian columns.
What to see at the Pantheon in Paris
In the Pantheon there are two well-differentiated parts.
After entering through one of the beautiful doors on its main façade, you will reach the top of the monument, the main nave, which stands out for its paintings, its decoration, its immense columns and, above all, for its large size.
The sculptures that support the columns are simply spectacular. But they are not the only ones.
Among all the sculptures, the National Convention of Sicard should be highlighted. In addition, there is also another very important element of the history of physics: the Foucault Pendulum. This element hangs from the large dome in its center and with which the rotation of the earth was demonstrated.
The second important part of the monument is the crypt, which is located under the main nave.
That is where the tombs of famous French people are.
Among the tombs found in this interesting place are Voltaire, Rousseau, Marie Curie, Emile Zola, Alexandre Dumas, Louis Braille or Victor Hugo.
You will also find many other less famous characters for people not born in France.
The history of the Pantheon in Paris
The impressive Pantheon was built between 1764 and 1790 and is one of the first neoclassical buildings in Paris.
At first it was thought that it would be a religious building and this is clear from its structure and floor plan.
But after several delays in the works due to the economic situation, the building was completed when the French Revolution had already taken place, so its final use changed and it was destined to house the tombs of different illustrious French men.
Although its religious function was restored several times during the 19th century, depending on the political regime in power, since 1885 it has only been the resting place of these illustrious figures in French history.
Practical information for visiting the Pantheon in Paris
- How to get
- Metro, Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) and Cardinal-Lemoine (line 10).
- RER, Luxembourg (line B).
- Buses, lines 21, 27, 38, 82, 84, 85 and 89.
- October to March, 10am-6pm.
- April to September, 10am-6:30pm.
- General, €9.
- Under 18s, under 26s from the EU, disabled and unemployed, free.
- If you want more information you can access the official page of the Pantheon de Paris.