In 1744, Louis XV made a solemn promise that, if he recovered from his terrible illness, he would rebuild the ruined church of St-Genèvieve Abbey with a glorious structure that would be dedicated to the patron saint of Paris, St-Genèvieve. After the king regained his health, designers were entrusted with the fulfillment of his promise. The result was one of the most famed constructions in all of France known as the Pantheon. Located on the Montagne St-Genèvieve, the Pantheon has a grand view of the city. The design is like a Greek cross with an enormous portico of Corinthian columns.
The daring plans originally called for a vast building that was intended to be 110 meters wide and 83 meters high. It was also intended to have a vast crypt beneath its floor. Due to financial difficulties, it was only completed after the demise of Soufflot and, when it was finally completed, the government changed its mission from a church to a mausoleum for great Frenchmen. It has since been reverted to a church on two separate occasions only to be turned into a temple once again. Among the famous remains that have been buried there are Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo and the original architect, Soufflot.
Address: Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 44 32 18 00
Architects: Jacques-Germain Soufflot, Jean-Baptiste Rondelet
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