One of the most majestic monuments in Paris is Pantheon (Panthéon), built on the site of the old church of St. Genevieve - a saint patroness of Paris - and originally it was a church also.
But soon after construction it became a mausoleum for the famous Parisians. At the entrance to the Pantheon there is an inscription: “To the great people from the grateful homeland» (Aux grands hommes, la patrie reconnaissante). Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Alexandre Dumas père and many others are buried here.
And all has started in 1744 when the French King Louis XV fell ill and, praying for recovery to the saint patroness of Paris, he promised to build the best church in the capital in her honor.
However, construction was over after death of the king. Soon after this the revolution has began and the new Church of St. Genevieve became the object what we know as the Pantheon today. Firstly, bodies of the famous revolutionaries Mirabeau and Marat were placed here. True, they did not stay here long - the power was changing constantly, the Pantheon had turned to the temple and to a mausoleum again.
In 1885 the great French writer Victor Hugo was buried, and since that time the Pantheon had not changed its role.
The last who was buried in the Pantheon - the remains of Alexandre Dumas pere. It happened quite recently - in 2002, nearly a century and a half after his death.
Visiting this place, do not miss the opportunity to rise to the inspection gallery under the dome of the Pantheon opening a magnificent view of Paris.
This attraction is open to visitors daily except holidays: January 1, May 1 and December 25. Working hours – 10.00 am – 06.30 pm in April-September, 10.00 am – 06.00 pm in other months. Admission price - 8 euros.
Official site of the Pantheon – pantheon.monuments-nationaux.fr