The Stairs of the Pantheon.

The stairs of the Pantheon

 

The Pantheon of Paris is a massive monument which can be viewed from all around the city. The Pantheon is now worldwide famous for housing the tombs of the most honored french citizens. Voltaire, Rousseau, Jean Moulin, Marie Curie, Victor Hugo, Monnet, Zola, Alexandre Dumas, Jaures are among the few having being chosen by the country. It is today the symbol of the supreme recognition reserved to those having well served France.

The building is very impressive: large and high, the dome is also heavier than the whole Eiffel Tower. The Pantheon was originally built by Louis XV who survived to an heavy disease and decided to build a church to Sainte Genevieve, protectress of Paris, to show his gratitude. The church was a real challenge to build and was for a long time the highest buidling in the city. After the revolution, catholicism lost in power, because associated to the old times. It was basically at that moment that the young french republic decided to change the church into a temple dedicated to the heros of the nation: a Pantheon.

The crypt is composed of long corridors and separated rooms. They are used for the tombs of more than 70 great figures of french history. Even if approximately 300 tombs can be used, selection of those who can rest into the crypt leads to a real national debate.

The stairs in picture are the one leading to the crypt. Once entering the crypt, you will face the statue and the tomb of Voltaire… who is facing for the eternity his most appreciable ennemy, Rousseau! They only met once, considered theirself more as rivals than allies and probably never understood each other. Yet, the revolution placed them face to face for centuries.

 

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