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Panthéon Tips (108)

Pendule de Foucault.

There are many "Pendule de Foucault" around the world but this is the original* pendulum of Jean Bernard Léon Foucault as installed in 1851 in the Pantheon.
A 28 kg sphere was attached by a 67 meter long steel wire to the dome. The 1,4 mm diameter wire is said to be a piano steel cord supplied by Pleyel!
The deviation per hour of the plane of the pendulum was 11°. After launching the pendulum would balance during 6 hours. The period of oscillation is 16,5 seconds and the distance 6 m.

The Foucault's pendulum was installed again in 1995 at the Pantheon and was each day demonstrating the Earth's daily rotation for the pleasure of the tourists (the oscillations were kept going by an electromagnetic device I presume).

In April 2013 the pendulum was DISMANTLED for RESTORATION work over 3 years!

*Actually the original pendulum used by Foucault in 1851 was kept at the Musée des Arts et Métiers of Paris where daily demonstrations were made in the choir of the former church of St Martin des Champs.
On 6/04/2010 the cable at the museum snapped and the sphere was damaged so that presently only copies of the spheres are used for the demonstrations. The Pantheon remains nevertheless the original place of the experiment.

Open: 10 - 18.30 h from 1/04 till 30/09; 10 - 18 h from 1/10 till 31/03.
Closed: 1/01, 1/05 & 25/12.
Price (2015): 7,50 €; reduced 6,50 €
Free: less than 18 or 18 -25 from the EU.
Photos allowed

breughel's Profile Photo
Mar 24, 2015

Monumental Mausoleum

To begin, a little advice to Paris visitors: try to randomise your visits so that you are not at similar places on the same day, or even consecutive days. I visited the Panthéon shortly after Notre Dame and found that I quickly had a surfeit of monumental stone buildings. So I probably didn’t appreciate this former church and keystone of French national pride as much as I should. Yes it was impressive and yes you definitely should visit, but to me it felt somewhat cold and alienating. We returned on our latest visit, but I confess to still having the same reaction!

The Panthéon is dedicated by “A Grateful Nation” as the resting place for ‘The Great Men’ of France, ‘men’ here being in the sense of ‘people’, for among them and surely one of the greatest is Marie Curie (photo 2), who is entombed under the name Marie Curie-Sklodowska, the latter being her Polish maiden name. Along with her you will find an assortment of well-known names such as Victor Hugo, Émile Zola and Louis Braille, as well as lesser-known names outside France, such as Jean Moulin, a wartime hero of the Resistance. These notables rest in the crypt, which is reached via a staircase near the monumental (that word again) statue (photo 3) which appears to symbolise the Revolution and the Convention (the first government after the Revolution).

You do have to be impressed by the scale of the interior though, with the dome over 80 metres high in the centre (photo 4). This was where Léon Foucault suspended a pendulum at the end of a 67 metre wire in 1851, demonstrating clearly the rotation of the earth (though that was known, it had not been shown before). The Foucault pendulum remains there (photo 5), presided over by yet another monumental group of statues.

tiabunna's Profile Photo
Nov 28, 2007

A wonderful 360° view of Paris

When King Louis XV fell very ill in 1744, he vowed to have a church built if he made a recovery. He did get better, and in 1764, work began to build what was to become the Pantheon, one of the most stunning pieces of religious architecture in Paris. It took 25 years to complete the Neoclassical church, and by then the French Revolution had started and the building was immediately converted to a mausoleum, where great French men would be laid to rest. For two brief periods after that it did serve as a church, but after French writer Victor Hugo was buried in the crypt of the Pantheon in 1885, it remained a mausoleum. Along with Hugo are buried some of France's most illustrious men and women, including Voltaire, Rousseau, Alexandre Dumas, and Pierre and Marie Curie.

Another interesting fact about the Pantheon is that in 1851, Leon Foucault suspended a 67 m pendulum beneath the central dome to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. The pendulum is still there and it still includes some parts of the original pendulum.

There are several monuments in Paris that allow you to have a great view of the city, but in my opinion, the Pantheon offers the best view of them all. The high moment of our visit definitely was when we followed the tour guide up the 300 or so steps to walk outside around the dome - we were allowed to go all the way around, and the best part was that there was no grid to block the view (or ruin my pictures!).

Admission costs 7.50 Euros (but you can use your Museum Pass) and gives access to the crypt and the dome.

Jefie's Profile Photo
May 01, 2007


The entrance of the crypt is in the back of the Pantheon, on the right, by a monumental staircase.
The broad dimensions surprise because the crypt covers the entire surface of the Pantheon building. There are four galleries, each one under an arm of the nave joined by a central room. There is room for 300 tombs; there are only 73 today.

To be admitted here one has to be considered a National Hero by a parliamentary act.
When looking at the names I must say that today a number of these "national heroes" are less illustrious than others. Some are just forgotten even by the French not to speak of foreign visitors. Not many are still illustrious in this 21th c.

Still famous are mostly writers and philosophers such as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Émile Zola, André Malraux, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire or scientists such as Pierre Curie and Marie Curie, Braille, Berthelot, Lagrange and the explorator Bougainville.
Jean Moulin head of the Resistance during WW II is also well known. A few politicians are still known like Jaures - probably because he was murdered just before WWI - and Jean Monnet a founder of the European Union. For many others "sic transit gloria mundi" is not inappropriate!

What intrigued me are those personalities buried in the Pantheon who were subsequently excluded. Mirabeau, Lepelletier and Marat, actors of the French Revolution, are among them.

Open: 10 - 18.30 h from 1/04 till 30/09; 10 - 18 h from 1/10 till 31/03.
Closed: 1/01, 1/05 & 25/12.
Price 2014: 7,50 €, reduced 4,50 €. A reduction of price because the Pendule de Foucault is not working anymore. 3 years of renovation!
Free: less than 18 or 18 -25 from the EU.
Photos allowed

breughel's Profile Photo
Apr 23, 2014
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When I visited this place ...the entrance fees was waived too :-)...see how good planning can save you another few Euro la.. Heritage Day Celebration ...what can I say ? Merci Beaucoup ....Je'taime paris...


A little history

Beautiful and gigantic murals of St Genevieve adorned all the walls and there is a crpyt down which house famous French man and women , amongst them

Louis Braille - Cell 25
Marie and Pierre Curie - great scientists. Cell 8
Victor Hugo - writer. Crypt XXIV
Emile Zola - writer. Crypt XXIV
Alexandre Dumas, Sr - writer. Crypt XXIV
Voltaire - philosopher
Jean-Jacques Rousseau - musician and philosopher


While Louis XV was taking care of his health, he promised that if he recovered, he would build a church to replace the half-ruined Abbey of St. Genevieve. Situated on the Montagne St-Genevieve, it had a commanding view of the city. The foundations were laid in 1758, but due to financial difficulties, it was completed in 1789. Revolutionaly government changed its mission from a church to a mausoleum for the remains of great Frenchmen.

Daily: Apr-Sept 09h30-18h30; rest of year 10h00-18h15. Admission: EUR7; Concessions: EUR4.15. Under-12s: Free. CMM

kenyneo's Profile Photo
Jul 22, 2006

Le Pantheon

In 1744, King Louis XV recovered from a serious illness. In his gratitude, he commissioned architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot to construct a new church on the left bank, in honor of Sainte Genevieve. Following Soufflot's death, his protege Rondelet continued the work. It was completed in 1789--just in time for the Revolution.

After the overthrow of the monarcy, Le Pantheon became the France's Hall of Fame. Here are the tombs and memorials to France's great men and their deeds. Here are the tombs of Voltaire, Rousseau, Zola, and other great writers. Also interred here are the remains of World War II resistance hero Jean Moulin.

The building itself is an outstanding example of neo-classical architecture, with massive Corinthian columns and a huge dome. Not to be missed.

Tom_Fields's Profile Photo
Nov 15, 2008

Foucault's Pendulum & the Philosophes

Welcome to the Panthéon where you can see Foucault’s pendulum in action.

Of particular interest are the crypts of Marie & Pierre Curie & some of the 17th-century philosophes’ crypts (such as Voltaire & Rousseau) and Victor Hugo (author of Les Miserables & Notre Dame de Paris, otherwise popularly known as Hunchback of Notre Dame.

During a very hot, sunny day in Paris step inside here to cool off - freezing cold inside the Panthéon. The marble floors and walls and high ceilings must keep it so cold. Otherwise, bring a sweater. :)

Carte Musées et Monuments accepted here.

Photos: February 2006

BeatChick's Profile Photo
May 27, 2007

From church to Pantheon and back.

When I came out of the Pantheon I wondered if it would be imaginable to build such a monument-mausoleum nowadays.
The fact is that the Panteon shows a monumental but elegant exterior and a very luminous interior, decorated with works of art like historical paintings and sculptures belonging to the national symbols.
If the Pantheon was intended (1764) by king Louis XV and the architect Soufflot to be a church dedicated to St Genevieve, the delays in construction - it was feared that the dome would collapse - made that the church was completed in 1790 at the start of the French Revolution.
The National Constituent Assembly - you can see the imposing sculpture - ordered it to be changed from a church to a mausoleum.
Under Napoleon I and then Restoration with kings Louis XVIII and Charles X the upper part became again a church and the crypt remained as mausoleum.
Later Louis-Philippe I made a Pantheon of the church, not for long because Napoleon III made again a church of the building. It was only at the burial of Victor Hugo en 1885 that the church was definitively transformed in a Pantheon.

This back and forth between church and pantheon had a marked influence on the decor.
At the place of the high altar stands the monumental sculpture of the "Convention nationale" but on the walls one sees a number of religious paintings about St Genevieve, Saint Louis, Jeanne d'Arc. The political debates have influenced the decor which is a mix of Christian, republican, patriotic and philosophical elements.
This variety makes the Pantheon so special.

Photos allowed

breughel's Profile Photo
Jan 04, 2015
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"My Paris: not only operas and bicycles . . ."
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"Perambulations in Paris!"
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"London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation."
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"Paris - Over 40 years of love and hate."
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The Pantheon....

This is another of those Paris landmarks that has been written about a thousand times before, but I was so gobsmacked by it that I felt I needed to say something. I was expecting something akin to the Pantheon in Rome, which, although equally as fascinating, is entirely different. I was especially fascinated by the clock, as I had never seen anything like it before and to someone as unscientific as me, it was something to truly ponder and wonder how on earth it worked.
I was also very interested in the tombs of so many very famous people from Victor Hugo to Louis Braille, Alexander Dumas and so many more. Watch your feet on the stairs to the crypt however as they are very narrow and spirally and there are lots of people going both ways. This is just a word of warning from an old 60 year old who is paranoid about falling down stairs.
The Pantheon was a morning well spent and I commend it to any future Paris visitors.

Maryimelda's Profile Photo
Oct 09, 2009


Pantheon is beautiful building in the Latin Quarter in Paris. It was church dedicated to St. Genevieve, but now is a burial place. It is look like Pantheon in Rome with a facade modeled. It is Neoclassicism with combination of lightness and brightness of gothic cathedral. Interior Dome is the most beautiful part of building

ruki's Profile Photo
Nov 06, 2008

Pantheon - Magnificent Building

Originally built as a church and opened in 1790, the Pantheon 's purpose soon changed when on the 4th April 1791 by decree the Constituent Assembly decided to transform the basilica into a temple destained to accommodate the remains of the great men of the country.

Some of the illustrious French figures honoured here include Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Emile Zola, Marie & Pierre Curie, Jean Monnet. All up over 30 famous French people remain here.

It is a huge building with with beautiful columns, the Dome is spectacular, and the walls are decorated with murals etc. What makes the Pantheon different from most other buildings is Foucault's Pendulum which is located in the middle of the building. The landmark discovery of the earth's rotation was made from the Pantheon by French physicist Jean Foucalt who suspended a weight from the Dome. As the weight swung back and forth, and as its position movedin relation to the floor below he was able to prove his theory.

Mikebb's Profile Photo
Aug 20, 2007


Started in 1764, the Greek-cross shape Pantheon was intended to become the new Sainte-Genevieve church, but in 1886 was transformed in a temple dedicated to the most important persons in the history of France.

Its construction was inspired by the Pantheon of Agrippa in Rome.

The walls, initially without any decoration, received the paintings presenting the life of Saint Genevieve after 1874.

The crypt (the stairs can be found behind the chancel) is the resting place of great French public figures, such as Emile Zola, Jean Monnet or Victor Hugo.

The building is 83m high, 110m long and 84m wide.

Diana75's Profile Photo
Feb 16, 2006

Things to Do Near Panthéon

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Getting to Panthéon


Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris


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