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Originally intended as a church to house the shrine of Saint Genevieve, since the French Revolution, this Latin Quarter landmark has become a pantheon. It’s now the resting place of some of France’s most important citizens.
At the end of the broad boulevard leading from the Luxembourg Gardens—the Rue Soufflot, named after the monument’s architect—Paris’s imposing Pantheon stands tall, its dome rising up from the center of its Greek cross structure.
The crypt of this impressive monument serves as the final home of France’s great philosophers, writers, politicians, scientists, and artists over the centuries. The crypt’s four galleries contain the tombs of Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Louis Braille, Émile Zola, Jean Jaurès, Jean Moulin, Jean Monnet, Pierre et Marie Curie, André Malraux, Alexandre Dumas, and more. Most recently, Simone Veil, accompanied by her husband Antoine, was interred here in July 2018.
On the ground floor of this neoclassical necropolis, you can admire the monumental vaults and the central dome, which rises up nearly 300 feet (or 83 meters). Under the dome, the slow and silent swing of the Foucault pendulum continues to prove that the Earth spins on its axis.
The walls of this church-turned-mausoleum are covered with huge paintings, most of which tell the story of Saint Genevieve’s life. After contemplating the fresques, make your way to the end of the nave where you can’t miss the imposing and stunning sculpture titled La Convention nationale, in reference to the beginnings of the French Revolution.
You can also ascend to the rooftop of the Pantheon where you’ll get amazing views of the city and of the monument’s towering dome. The Pantheon’s roof is only accessible by guided tour from April through October, but if you’re visiting Paris during these months, be sure not to miss it.
Entry: 9€ for adults, free under 26. Guided rooftop visits: +2€