The Pantheon is one of the most impressive buildings in Paris. Located in the Latin Quarter, tourists crowd to get their chance to take home a photograph of the impressive structure. If you are like us before we visited and didn’t know much about the Pantheon’s history, here is all the Pantheon Paris Facts including one that will shock you.
We were interested to visit the Pantheon during our trip to Paris so we opted to stay nearby in a stunning hotel, the Hotel Saint Paul Paris.
Pantheon Paris History
King Clovis in the year 507AD was practicing Frankish paganism. When he converted to Catholic Christianity he built a basilica (where the Pantheon now stands).
Saint Genevieve, was buried in the basilica in 512AD. After this point, many people came to the basilica to pray to Saint Genevieve.
By the 1700s, King Louis XV made a recovery from a serious illness and attributed the recovery to the prayers of Saint Genevieve.
In the honour of Saint Genevieve. he built a very prestigious church in the spot of the original basilica.
King Louis XV entrusted the building to the architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot – a very ambitious man who aimed to create a more impressive church then Rome – 83 metres high and 100 metres long.
Jacques-Germain Soufflot died before the competition of the basilica. It was finished off by his pupil Jean-Baptiste Rondelet in 1790. This time was at the start of the French Revolution.
In 1791, the basilica was converted to the Pantheon. It was converted to become a resting place for important people in French society including Presidents, writers and composers.
Pantheon Paris Facts
So now you have learnt a brief history of the Pantheon, here is a recap including 10 Facts about the Pantheon (including one that will shock you!)
- The Pantheon boasts one of the best views over Paris (see below you can actually see the eiffel tower from the Pantheon)
- It is modelled after the Pantheon in Rome
- It was initially a church but later changed to a burial site
- Inside the Pantheon there is very impressive art work
- It is a combination of neoclassical and gothic design
- At the entrance of the Pantheon there is an inscription which translates in English to ‘To great men, the grateful homeland’.
- The original architect died before it’s completion
- It was not the first important building to stand in the spot
- Many prominent French people have been buried
- SHOCK! An important woman wasn’t buried there until recently in the year 1995.
Pantheon Paris Architecture
The Pantheon combines Greek and Gothic architecture.
It is in the style of neo-classical. This type of architecture is based on simplicity and symmetry in design.
The arches of the Pantheon are designed to make the building as light as possible. Interestingly they were blocked during the French revolution.
Pantheon Paris Burials
One of the main purposes of the Pantheon is that it became one of the main burial sites of people of importance in France including famous people, presidents and scientists.
One interesting person who is buried in the Pantheon is Victor Hugo. He is famous for the novels Les Miserables and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. If you are interested in more about Victor Hugo’s life, you can also visit the Maison Victor Hugo Museum in Paris.
Where is Napolean buried?
Many people think that Napoleon is buried at the Pantheon.
However, interestingly, he is not buried at the Pantheon. He is buried at Les Invalides in Paris.
If you are interested to visit his burial spot it is located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris in complex of museum and monuments.
Pantheon Paris Opening Hours
The Pantheon Paris opening hours are as follows:
- 2 January – 31 March: 10.00 – 18.00
- 1 April – 30 September 10.00 – 18.30
- 1 October – 31 Decemeber 10.00 – 18.00
Note: The Last admission is 45 min before closing time.
The Pantheon is only closed a few days of the year – 1 January, 1 May and 25 December and on 17 June in the morning.
Pantheon Paris Admission & General Information
The cost of entry is €9 for adults.
It should be noted that if you are 25 or under and from the European Union, you can enter free of charge. This rule applies to many of the monuments in Paris.
If you are looking for a place to sit and relax, there is seating outside the building which people use to sit and relax or enjoy a packed lunch.
Pantheon Paris Restaurants
There are a few good restaurants in very close proximity to the Pantheon.
Le Comptoir du Panthéon is a very highly rated restaurant within steps of the Pantheon. They are known for having great duck dishes, coffee and wine.
A few metres further down the road is a creperia known as La Creperie. If you are looking for the French specialty, crepes, this is a great pitstop.
Look for the 2 large teddy bears who are regulars at the La Creperie. Depending on the day, you will see the bears dining in the restaurant or basking in the sunshine on the terrace.
Best Hotel Near Pantheon Paris
We wanted to stay near the Pantheon during our Paris trip. We choose to stay at the Hotel Saint Paul Rive Gauche Paris.
This hotel is super cool. Artwork in a lobby is copies of a French artist who makes whimsical adaptations of famous people using the heads of animals.
In our opinion, this is the best hotel near the Pantheon to stay in Paris.
The rooms at Hotel Saint Paul Rive Gauche are so picture perfect. They are really everything you could wish for when staying in Paris.
The rooms have a very elegant Parisian vibe.
The hotel has a total of 31 rooms. They have carefully paired the hotel’s stunning wooden beamed ceilings with bright flower material wallpaper. The rooms also feature stunning custom-made oak furniture and Haute Epoque style seating.
We learnt while staying at the hotel that the beautiful floral ‘wallpaper’ is not in fact paper but high quality material.
Each room has a unique colour scheme and the blinds are selected carefully to match the wallpaper.
The room we stayed in had a stunning orange and blue theme.
We stayed in the hotel’s Superior Double Room. It was very spacious at 18 sqm and absolutely perfect for a romantic getaway in Paris.
The rooms have a work desk (ideal for surfing the net for the most romantic things to do in Paris for Couples), a flat screen satellite television, a balcony and a large bathroom.
One feature of the rooms that particularly impressed us was that room featured a Samsung mobile phone. We loved this concept! This meant that guests can make complimentary calls home and use free mobile data all over the city! The feature was super handy for us while in Paris.
Being tea and coffee junkies we also appreciated that each room was well equipped with a mini bar, coffee and tea making facilities.
In the cupboard we found plush bathrobes and slippers, perfect for snuggly nights in!
One thing we love about Paris hotels are the amazing balconies! Our room at Hotel Saint Paul Rive Gauche featured not one but two stunning Juliette balconies.
Balconies in Paris hotels give a very romantic vibe to the room. They also let a lot of natural light in, creating a warm and happy atmosphere.
We loved the breakfast at Hotel Saint Paul Rive Gauche. It was one of the best breakfasts we have experienced in Europe.
While it was not a huge buffet, the food on the buffet was of a very high quality including high quality cheeses, meats and pate. The bread and croissants is actually made fresh daily on premises.
The hotel is located in the very cozy suburb of Saint Germain. Very quaint restaurants and coffee shops line the streets.
As mentioned, it is the ideal hotel in Paris to position yourself to see the Pantheon. It is also in walking distance of Notre Dame and the Jardin de Luxembourg.
Other Interesting things to do in Paris
If you would like to visit Paris by scooter, you can walk to Freescoot Paris from Hotel Saint Paul where you can hire either a modern or vintage scooter to explore the city with!
A scooter is also the perfect Instagram companion for exploring Paris. Ask the friendly owner of Freescoot Paris who is an expert of photogenic locations in the city!
We would highly recommend experiencing lunch at Le Lobby restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel. This restaurant is close to the Arc de Triumphe in Paris and serves absolutely delicious food in a picturesque setting.
You feel like you have been transported straight out of a scene of My Fair Lady when you are dining at Le Lobby restaurant it is the absolute essence of luxury in every regard!
And, if you looking for an amazing Instagram snap, head upstairs to their rooftop restaurant – an Eiffel Tower view is sure not to disappoint!
We love Paris, don’t you? Tell us what your favourite thing to do in Paris is below!
Save this to Pinterest (so you can find it again later!)
Disclaimer: We stayed at Hotel Saint Paul Rive Gauche as guests. However, all opinions are our own.