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Panthéon de Paris

The Pantheon of Paris

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Nestled in the Latin Quarter, the Pantheon of Paris is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic monuments of the French capital.

Built in the 18th century, it houses the tombs of many personalities who have marked the history of France…

In short, an essential stop for art and history lovers!


⚠️ The Pantheon is very popular, and the line at the entrance can be quite long, especially during peak season. To avoid wasting time, be sure to book your visit in advance: skip-the-line tickets for the Panthéon or the Paris Museum Pass.

💡 The Captain’s tips 💡

🧐 Keen to delve into Paris’ rich history? Captain Ulysses suggests checking out this complimentary guided tour of the city. You decide how much to tip the guide!

💤 Searching for the perfect stay in Paris? Take a peek at Captain’s picks for the best places to stay: Where to stay in Paris? Tips & Recommendations.

👶 Planning a family adventure to Paris? Discover all of the Captain’s top tips in the article: Exploring Paris with the Kids: Family-Friendly Activities

A short history of the Pantheon in Paris

Built in the 18th century at the request of Louis XV, the Pantheon of Paris follows the plans of the architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot. The king wished to build a church dedicated to Sainte-Geneviève, patron saint of the city of Paris, in the Latin Quarter, where there were already many religious buildings.

If the Pantheon has lost any religious function today, it was originally a church!

Although it is considered neoclassical in style, the monument, which is very eclectic, borrows from different architectural styles (Gothic, Byzantine, classical).

Les travaux commencent en 1758 et s’achèvent plus de 30 ans plus tard, en 1790. L’édifice ne reste une église que très peu de temps. En 1791, l’Église Sainte-Geneviève est convertie par les révolutionnaires en “Panthéon des grands hommes”, un véritable mausolée national rendant hommage aux personnalités qui ont contribué à l’histoire de la France. 

Many great men (and women) are buried in rhz Pantheon, such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo or Marie Curie.

Today, the Pantheon is one of the most emblematic monuments of Paris. Open to the public, it welcomes millions of visitors every year who come to discover its rich past and its many architectural treasures.

🏛️ From Rome to Paris 🏛️

The Pantheon of Paris is not the only famous monument to bear this name… it indeed also named after the Pantheon in Rome, which is much older and dates back to the Roman Empire! The famous Italian building is also used as a mausoleum for great men, but – unlike the Pantheon in Paris – it remains a consecrated church.

Exterior of the Pantheon in Paris

Visiting the Pantheon in Paris

The exterior of the Pantheon in Paris

Before entering the Pantheon, let’s halt, if you will, outside the famous Parisian monument.

110 meters / 360 feet long and 84 meters / 275 feet wide, the Pantheon is a building in the shape of a Greek cross, surmounted by a 83-meter /72-eet high dome at the top of which a small lantern. The facade is decorated with a portico of Corinthian columns and surmounted by a pediment representing the Motherland, protector of Science – represented on the right by scholars, artists and philosophers – and History – represented on the left by great statesmen. On the pediment, don’t miss the famous inscription: “To the great men, the grateful motherland”.

The interior of the Pantheon in Paris

One thing is certain, the architecture of the Pantheon is very imposing!

The central nave is supported by columns and surmounted by a dome with an oculus, a star-shaped opening at the top of the dome. Large windows also allow light to enter the building.

The Pantheon is decorated with numerous frescoes and works of art that evoke the history of France and its great men, including works by Puvis de Chavannes, Antoine-Jean Gros, Léon Bonnat, Alexandre Cabanel and Jean-Paul Laurens.

You will also find countless busts and statues of famous personalities, such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo and Marie Curie.

From April 1 to October 31, visitors can climb to the top of the dome to admire the view of the capital.

Interior of the Pantheon in Paris

The tombs of the Pantheon in Paris

Located under the building, the crypt of the Pantheon in Paris houses the tombs (or urns) of 81 personalities who have marked the history of France, each adorned with sculptures and gilding, and surrounded by statues and busts.

You will find among others the tombs of Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Émile Zola, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Marie Curie, Joséphine Baker and Simone Veil.

Although the crypt now houses the remains of 81 emblematic personalities, it has a capacity of… nearly 300 tombs! .

The Foucault pendulum

Conceived by the French physicist Léon Foucault in 1851, the Foucault pendulum is a scientific invention demonstrating the rotation of the earth. The first public demonstration dates from 1851, the pendulum being hung on the vault of the Pantheon in Paris. He was reinstalled in the Pantheon in 1995.

The Foucault pendulum consists of a weight suspended from a silk thread 67 meters / 220 feet long. It is set up under the dome of the Pantheon, in the central nave. The swinging motion of the pendulum highlights the rotation of the Earth on itself.

Access

Getting to the Pantheon in Paris

Located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, in the famous Latin Quarter, the Pantheon is within walking distance of many points of interest such as the Sorbonne University, the Luxembourg Garden and Place Saint-Michel.

The Pantheon is easily accessible by public transportation:

  • Metro: the closest metro stations to the Pantheon are “Luxembourg” (lines B and C) and “Cardinal Lemoine” (line 10). The Pantheon is also accessible from the “Maubert-Mutualité” station (line 10).
  • Bus: several bus lines serve the Pantheon. The closest lines are 21, 27, 38, 63 and 86.
  • Bike: the Pantheon is accessible by bike thanks to one of the many self-service bike stations gathered throughout the city.

For your information, the Pantheon is also accessible to disabled visitors.

Opening hours

The Pantheon is open every day of the week:

  • From October 1st to March 31st: 10am – 6pm (last entry at 5:15pm)
  • From April 1st to September 30th: 10am – 6:30pm (last entry at 5:45pm)

Access to the top of the dome is open from April 1 to October 31.

Admission

Tickets for the Pantheon in Paris are 11.50 euros (full price). Admission is free for people under 26, students, teachers and people with disabilities.

You will have to pay an extra 3.50 euros to access the top of the dome. Captain Ulysses recommends that you book your entrance tickets online to avoid the queues at the entrance of the monument.
More info: skip-the-line tickets for the Paris Pantheon.

💡 The Captain’s tip: access to the Pantheon is also included in the Museum Pass. It provides direct access to more than 60 museums and monuments in Paris, including the Louvre Museum, the Musée d’Orsay and the Centre Pompidou.
More information: Paris Museum Pass


👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and tours in advance!

👉 Looking for a place to stay in Paris?

 

👉 Looking for advice and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ suggestions!

🛏️ Accommodation: Booking. For all the Captain’s advice and recommendations: Where to stay in Paris?

🎟️ Activities: GetYourGuide | Civitatis

⛵ Cruises: Seine River Cruises

🎫 Citypass: Paris Museum Pass

🚐 Transfers: Transfer to/from your hotel

🚌 Local Transportation: Hop-on Hop-off Bus | Batobus

✈️ Flights, Trains & Buses: Skyscanner

Credits
Mathias Reding | Nicolas | Clement Percheron

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