Panthéon, Paris

The maps and pictures below present information about Panthéon, Paris. The Panthéon (from Greek Πάνθεον meaning "Every god") is a building in the Latin Quarter in Paris. It was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve and to house the reliquary châsse containing her relics but, after many changes, now functions as a secular mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens. It is an early example of neoclassicism, with a façade modeled on the Pantheon in Rome, surmounted by a dome that owes some of its character to Bramante's "Tempietto". Located in the 5th arrondissement on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, the Panthéon looks out over all of Paris. Designer Jacques-Germain Soufflot had the intention of combining the lightness and brightness of the gothic cathedral with classical principles, but its role as a mausoleum required the great Gothic windows to be blocked.


King Louis XV vowed in 1744 that if he recovered from his illness he would replace the ruined church of the Abbey of St Genevieve with an edifice worthy of the patron saint of Paris. He did recover, and entrusted Abel-François Poisson, marquis de Marigny with the fulfillment of his vow. In 1755, Marigny commissioned Jacques-Germain Soufflot to design the church, with construction beginning two years later.

The overall design was that of a Greek cross with massive portico of Corinthian columns. Its ambitious lines called for a vast building 110 metres long by 84 metres wide, and 83 metres high. No less vast was its crypt. Soufflot's masterstroke is concealed from casual view: the triple dome, each shell fitted within the others, permits a view through the oculus of the coffered inner dome of the second dome, frescoed by Antoine Gros with The Apotheosis of Saint Genevieve. The outermost dome is built of stone bound together with iron cramps and covered with lead sheathing, rather than of carpentry construction, as was the common French practice of the period. Concealed flying buttresses pass the massive weight of the triple construction outwards to the portico columns.

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Close places of interest

Jean Monnet (0 km)

Jean Omer Marie Gabriel Monnet (9 November 1888 – 16 March 1979) was a French political economist and diplomat. He is regarded by many as a chief architect of European unity and one of the founding fathers of the European Union. Never elected to public office, Monnet worked behind the scenes of American and European governments as a well-connected pragmatic internationalist. He was named patron of the 1980-1981 academic year at the College of Europe, in honour of his accomplishments.

Montagne Sainte-Geneviève (0.03 km)

The Montagne Sainte-Geneviève is a hill on the left Bank of the Seine in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. On the top of the Montagne, one can visit the Panthéon or the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, which is often full of students from La Sorbonne and other nearby universities. In the small streets of the Montagne, one can enjoy lots of bars and restaurants, for instance in the Rue Mouffetard. The École Polytechnique used to be located on the Montagne; its former buildings are now the Ministry of Research.

Sainte-Geneviève Library (0.11 km)

Sainte-Geneviève Library is a public and university library in Paris, which inherited the collection of the Abbey of St Genevieve. The library contains around 2 million documents. History The Sainte-Geneviève Library inherited the writings and collections of one of the largest and oldest abbeys in Paris. Founded in the sixth century by Clovis I and subject to the rule of St Benedict, the abbey was initially dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul. In 512 the body of St Genevieve, later the patron saint of Paris was buried there and in time became the new dedication.

Cujas Library (0.11 km)

Cujas Library, named after the French jurist and scholar Jacques Cujas (1520–1590), is an academic research library, and the largest law library in Europe. It is located in the Latin Quarter, next to the Panthéon and Sainte-Geneviève Library, in the 5th arrondissement. History Cujas Library was originally the library of the Law School of the University of Paris (which dates back to 1215). The collections of the library were dispersed during the French Revolution . Consequently the current collections have been built since 1829 only.

Institute of Higher International Studies (0.12 km)

The Institute of Higher International Studies (French: Institut des Hautes Études Internationales, commonly referred to as "IHEI") is a public institution of research and higher education in Paris, France. It was founded in 1921 by Paul Fauchille and Albert de Lapradelle. It is now affiliated to Panthéon-Assas University.

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