Le Panthéon: A History


The Panthéon: A Revolutionary Church

I don't know why I waited to long to visit the Panthéon in Paris. It has a lot of the things that I'm interested in. It celebrates the French Revolution with it's captivating statues and paintings. It promotes critical thinking, freedom, and creativity with its mausoleum of intellectuals. Yeah, why I waited so long to see this place is a mystery to me. So here's some history to it.

Paintings of Revolution as the Altar

Once a Church

Louis XV had the Panthéon built as a church in the neoclassical style. It was modeled after greek and roman architect, inspired by the Acropolis in Athens and the Panthéon in Rome. It was completed during the French Revolution but was taken over by the National Constituent Assembly, a group who made the Panthéon a government building, not a church. Through the years, after the revolution, the Panthéon went back and forth between being a church and not being a church. Today it is not considered a church.

The Front of the Panthéon

A Mausoleum

Underneath the main part of the Panthéon is a mausoleum. While the main part of the Panthéon has been used as a meeting place for intellectuals, a place to conduct experiments and prove theories, the crypt was built as a final resting place to honor the intellectuals of France. The first person buried in the Panthéon was Mirabeau, a man of the revolution and the man who wanted the church changed to a mausoleum. Since then, famous French thinkers have been buried in the crypt.

Scenes of Revolution

Famous People

The Panthéon today holds the bodies of many writers, scientists, and politicians. The list includes Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jean Jaures, Jean Moulin, Louis Braille, Emile Zola, Marie Curie, and Alexandre Dumas. The majority of those interred are men, and Marie Curie is the only woman to be buried in the Panthéon by her own merits. Today the crypt is accessible to the public and is like a labyrinth of history.

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