We’ve just celebrated Bastille Day, National Day in France, unfortunately this year with the Covid restrictions, the fireworks of the Eiffel Tower took place but without spectators.
You can celebrate anyway watching the replay at the end of the article, or by reading again my article from last year:
My Bday in Paris
Or the one from 2018:
And yes, again in Paris in July to celebrate my birthday among other things.
I’m very grateful to be in Paris, some people dream of it all their life as in the film The Extraordinary journey of the Fakir, mentioned in my article Summary (in which besides I reminded you of my articles on incredible constructions.)
The atmosphere of this magical city inspired my last video:
However, on this very special day for the French, I wanted to tell you about a monument that honours our patriotism, and all the people who have contributed to it: The Pantheon in Paris.
But before that, it was a Christian basilica, built in 507 by King Clovis. It became the Church of Sainte-Geneviève, named after the patron saint of Paris, because she had protected the city and its inhabitants from the barbarians with Attila at its head.
A large mural depicts the life of Saint Geneviève, as well as her apotheosis under the dome. These are the oldest paintings dating from the First Empire.
In 1755, Louis XV commissioned Jacques-Germain Soufflot to build a prestigious basilica in honour of Sainte-Geneviève, to whom the King credits his recovery from a serious illness.
The architecture is Greek and Gothic, the dome is inspired by Saint Paul's Cathedral in London and the Invalides in Paris, the monumental peristyle is inspired by the Pantheon of Agrippa in Rome.
Soufflot wanted to compete with Saint-Pierre de Rome, he died before the end, his building was completed in 1790 by his collaborator Rondelet.
At its centre, there’s also the Foucault pendulum invented in 1851, in order to prove the rotation of Earth.
Finally, in 1791, the basilica was converted into the National Pantheon, however it changed twice into a religious building during the 19th century.
From 1874, paintings were added to the monument recounting the key moments of the Christian and monarchical origins of France, Clovis, Joan of Arc, Saint-Louis, Charlemagne are notably represented.
Obviously, we can’t miss the masterful representation of the French Revolution "The National Convention" embodying Marianne surrounded by soldiers and revolutionary deputies.
The original text of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen as well as the Constitution of the 5th Republic can be found in the Pantheon.
There are also many statues and inscriptions to pay homage to various personalities.
I can’t speak of the Pantheon without mentioning the crypt of course, many illustrious personalities who contributed to the glory of this country are buried there: Voltaire, Rousseau, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, Louis Braille, Jean Monnet, Pierre & Marie Curie, Simone Veil to name a few ...
We emerge humbled and moved by this beautiful monument, not to mention that we remember a part of the history of France.
A visit that I highly recommend if you’ve never been before.
Follow me on Instagram (@blogaboutl) to see more of my adventures!
Next Post: Saturday August 1st.
Love & Freedom,
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