The history of France is immortalized in architectural monuments that never cease to admire with their appearance and craftsmanship. Some sights were built quickly and were immediately accepted by the townspeople, while others went through a difficult path from idea to implementation and recognition. The Parisian Pantheon, planned as a temple to the glory of Saint Genevieve, has gone through a long stage and was at first received with hostility by the Parisians, but today it is unanimously recognized as one of the main cultural objects in the country. The memorial is located in the city center, in the Latin Quarter, and receives tens of thousands of visitors under its historical vaults throughout the year.
History of origin
On the verge of life and death - this is how you can characterize the idea of the appearance of the Pantheon in Paris. In 1744, King Louis XV of France, falling ill with a fever and having no chance of recovery, considered the only way out to pray for his well-being to the patroness of Paris. The monarch promised to build a grand cathedral in the city center in honor of Saint Genevieve if his health improved. The magic power of prayer or accident - but the disease receded, and the king's promise was fulfilled after a couple of decades.
In 1755, Jacques-Germain Soufflot was appointed to develop the plan for the future masterpiece, and a few years later the construction of the building began. The French Revolution fell on the completion of the construction and influenced the decision to turn the erected temple into a tomb for the burial of prominent people of the country and heroes of recent battles. At the same time, the phrase appeared on the facade of the building: "To great people from a grateful Motherland", expressing respect and recognition of the merits of those who had to find their last refuge in the silence of the Pantheon. But neither the author of the project, nor Louis XV survived to this day.
Burial in the Pantheon
The French are very sensitive to the process of burial within the walls of the Pantheon - exceptionally outstanding compatriots can be awarded such an honor, so often the ceremony takes place only a few years, and sometimes centuries after death. So, the great writer Dumas the Elder was honored with "relocation" to the tomb only in 2002.
In total, more than 80 prominent personalities found rest in the tomb, including:
- Voltaire - philosopher and educator (1791)
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau - philosopher and writer (1794)
- Victor Hugo - famous writer (1885)
- Emile Zola - writer and politician (1908)
- Louis Braille - Creator of Writing for the Blind (1952)
- René Kassen - co-author of the Declaration of Human Rights, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (1987)
- Maria Sklodowska-Curie is one of the four women buried in the former cathedral. Outstanding physicist and chemist, buried with her husband Pierre Curie.
In the history of the Pantheon, 2 cases of reburial of remains from the Pantheon are recorded in connection with new biographical facts of the buried.
Inside the Pantheon, in addition to coffins with remains and urns containing either a heart or a handful of earth from the place of death of those buried, you can see magnificent ceiling paintings telling about the life and deeds of famous Frenchmen, and skillfully made statues.
- There is a large observation deck under the dome of the building, which rises by 206 steps and offers a breathtaking view of Paris
- The Pantheon is built in a neoclassical style, incorporating features of Gothic, Romanesque, classical and Greco-Roman architecture
- Christian, philosophical, republican, Masonic - all these periods of the country's history are reflected in the interior decoration of the Pantheon, in its paintings and frescoes
- In 1851, on the territory of the memorial, Leon Foucault carried out an experiment showing the rotation of the Earth in a day. A copy of the apparatus is still installed in the building and is available for study by everyone who wants to join science and history.
- The only foreigner buried in the mausoleum is Jean-Jacques Rousseau, born in Switzerland.
The object belongs to memorials.