The Pantheon in Paris is one of the most interesting monuments in the city. It is located in the square with the same name, in the heart of the Latin Quarter , and is characterized by being a cross-shaped building finished with a cupola, in neoclassical style. It was one of the first neoclassical buildings erected in France, in which the style of Gothic architecture has been tastefully fused with the majestic nuances of Greek architecture.
It is located next to other historic buildings: the town hall, the Saint Étienne du Mont church, the Saint Genevieve library and the University of Paris. Likewise, its proximity to the Luxembourg Gardens makes it one of the essential places to visit in Paris.
This monument can be visited throughout the year and its maintenance is managed by the Center for National Monuments . We recommend you visit it when you are in Paris.
Brief history of the Pantheon in Paris
This building was built in the 18th century with the aim of housing the relics of Santa Genoveva. However, later it became a space to honor the memory of citizens who had collaborated with the country’s history. When you visit it you will be able to see the place where the bodies of essential figures of French culture are buried.
Although its construction began in 1790, it was completed during the French Revolution in 1790, at which time it was decided that instead of being devoted to religious worship it would be used as a place of homage and memory of the great people who had collaborated with the growth culture of France . In this way, under the motto “To the great men, the grateful country” this mausoleum was inaugurated, which is one of the great icons of Paris.
Finally, in 1885 with the death of Victor Hugo, it was given its definitive use: as a space to honor the memory of the great makers of the country. The religious figures were removed and the inscription that we can currently see was placed: “To the great men the recognized Homeland” . From the year 1920 it was incorporated into the list of historical monuments, being the oldest in order of importance.
This monument has also served to understand the constant struggle of the French people between their secularism and the strength of the Catholic religion. For this reason, on several occasions the original idea was returned and it was consecrated to the cult of Saint Genevieve, erasing the inscription from the pediment, and on others, the idea of a secular monument consecrated to men was returned to. Bearing in mind that its structure is reminiscent of the Greek Parthenon whose meaning was “Temple of the gods”, it can also serve to understand the constant discussion between man and god.
What to visit in the Latin quarter?
In the Pantheon you can visit the site where Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Rousseau, Jean Jaurès, Marie Curie and Alexandre Dumas, among many others, are buried. The last remains that have been transferred are those of Jean Zay and Pierre Brossolette, on May 27, 2015 in a commemorative act.
For the visit to be profitable, we recommend dividing it into two parts. On the one hand, visiting the interior of the building, with its paintings, statues and majesty, and on the other, a walk through the crypt, where you can visit the place where famous figures from Paris are buried.
Without a doubt, you cannot leave Paris without visiting the Pantheon. It is a visit that is worth not only for its architectural grandeur but also for the historical memory that is housed in its bricks.
You can visit the Pantheon on the Place du Panthéon, in the 5th Arrondissement, in the heart of the Latin Quarter.
Hours and price
The Pantheon in Paris can be visited every day of the year from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., except for the first days of January and May and on Christmas Day.
The ticket price is €9 (adults), free (under 18 and Europeans under 25). If you have the Paris Pass, admission is free.