Fodor's Expert Review Panthéon

The Latin Quarter Notable Building Fodor's Choice

Rome has St. Peter's, London has St. Paul's, and Paris has the Panthéon, whose enormous dome dominates the Left Bank. Built as the church of Ste-Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, it was later converted to an all-star mausoleum for some of France's biggest names, including Voltaire, Zola, Dumas, Rousseau, and Hugo. Pierre and Marie Curie were reinterred here together in 1995, and feminist-politician Simone Veil became only the fifth woman in this illustrious group when she was entombed in 2018. Begun in 1764, the building was almost complete when the French Revolution erupted. By then, architect Jacques-German Soufflot had died—supposedly from worrying that the 220-foot-high dome would collapse. He needn't have fretted: the dome was so perfect that Foucault used it in his famous pendulum test to prove the Earth rotates on its axis. Today the crypt, nave, and dome still sparkle (the latter offering great views), and Foucault's pendulum still holds pride of place on the main floor,... READ MORE

Rome has St. Peter's, London has St. Paul's, and Paris has the Panthéon, whose enormous dome dominates the Left Bank. Built as the church of Ste-Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, it was later converted to an all-star mausoleum for some of France's biggest names, including Voltaire, Zola, Dumas, Rousseau, and Hugo. Pierre and Marie Curie were reinterred here together in 1995, and feminist-politician Simone Veil became only the fifth woman in this illustrious group when she was entombed in 2018. Begun in 1764, the building was almost complete when the French Revolution erupted. By then, architect Jacques-German Soufflot had died—supposedly from worrying that the 220-foot-high dome would collapse. He needn't have fretted: the dome was so perfect that Foucault used it in his famous pendulum test to prove the Earth rotates on its axis. Today the crypt, nave, and dome still sparkle (the latter offering great views), and Foucault's pendulum still holds pride of place on the main floor, slowly swinging in its clockwise direction and reminding of us of earth's eternal spin.

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Notable Building Views Fodor's Choice Historical

Quick Facts

Pl. du Panthéon
Paris, Île-de-France  75005, France

01–44–32–18–00

www.paris-pantheon.fr

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €11.50; €15 with dome access, Dome closed Nov.–Mar.

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