Paris Pantheon beautiful building to visit on holidayAnother beautiful building you should not miss on your city break to Paris is the Pantheon. The Pantheon was conceived by Louis XV in 1744 after he had recovered from a terrible illness. He was so grateful to be alive that he decided to build the most magnificent of churches and dedicate it to Sainte Genevieve. It was designed and built by Jacques Germain Soufflot from 1764 and was completed in 1790, ten years after Soufflot’s death. By that time the French Revolution was well underway and the Church was turned into a pantheon – a place where the great and good of Paris could house their tombs.

In 1806, Napoleon returned its use from Pantheon to that of Church, but France was in a state of upheaval and it was secularized and de-secularized before finally becoming a civic building in 1885.

In 1851 Foucault made his most famous pendulum when he suspended a 28 kg brass-coated lead bob on a 67 meter long wire from the dome of the Panthéon. The plane of the pendulum’s swing rotated clockwise 11° per hour, and made a full circle in 32.7 hours. It was removed when Napoleon III returned the monument to religious use, but then returned in 1905. The current ball dates from 1995.

Foucault's Pendulum Paris - time on a city breakThe Pantheon currently enshrines Voltaire who died in 1788 and was buried outside Paris, but whose remains were removed to the Pantheon later. In the 1970s the remains of Jean Moulin, the wartime Resistance leader, were reburied here, beside the tombs of Jean Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Louis Braille, Pierre and Marie Curie.

A staircase leads to the Galleries, immediately below the dome, affording spectacular 360-degree panoramic views of Paris, it is well worth the climb. To save time and money on your city break remember to purchase your Paris Pass in advance.

There is no wheelchair access into the Panthéon as there are 10 steps to enter and a similar number to reach the upper nave. For information on the best hotels in Paris, including disabled access check the impartial amoreTravel guide ‘where to stay’.

Paris holiday or city break guide to best hotelsPanthéon, Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris
Paris City Breaks
Opening Times:
April 1 to September 30: 10-6:30.
October 1 to March 31: 10-6.00.
Last admission 45 minutes before closing.
Closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25.

Admission: Adult rate: 7.50 € Reduced rate: 4.50 €.