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Panthéon

Initially designed to outdo the great architecture of Rome and London's churches, the Panthéon later became a place of interment for distinguished French figures.

TravelCurious Tip

Don’t miss the famous pendulum hanging here, with which Jean Bernard Léon Foucault proved in 1851 that the Earth spins on its axis.

In the historic Latin Quarter of Paris stands the enormous Pantheon, a spectacular example of 18th century French architecture and an unmissable feature of the French capital. It was commissioned by Louis XV, who had been suffering from a serious disease in 1744 and feared that he would soon succumb. A religious man, he vowed that if God granted him the strength to recover, he would build a grand church to Sainte-Genevieve. His wish was granted, and he gave the job of organising the construction to the Marquis of Marigny.


Grand Designs

It took some 34 years to complete, but the finished Pantheon was universally admired and became a European wonder. The floor plan is 110m long and 85m wide, and is topped by a large dome whose tip towers 83m above the ground. The huge portico at the front is based on the 2nd century Pantheon in Rome, and is supported by an enormous set of Corinthian pillars.


A Hero’s Burial

Beneath the Pantheon is a vast crypt which houses the tombs of some of France’s most famous sons and daughters. Shortly after the building was completed, during the French Revolution, it was decided that it should be converted from a church into a mausoleum, and the inscription above the entrance reads “To great men, the grateful homeland”. Burial here is strictly reserved for national heroes - Voltaire, Emile Zola, Victor Hugo and Marie and Pierre Curie are all interred beneath the Pantheon.





Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
The Latin Quarter
The Latin Quarter represents the essence of intellectual Paris, a place to unwind amidst the rarefied atmosphere of the 5th and 6th arrondissements.
St Julien le Pauvre
Built in 1165 at the same time as Notre-Dame, this is the oldest and most charming of churches in Paris.
La Sorbonne
Founded in 1253 to give impoverished students the opportunity to study theology, this is one of the world's most famous universities.
Le Jardin du Luxembourg
Spanning 25 hectares, this stunning garden is a quintessential Parisian space for relaxation.
Thermes de Cluny
Gallo-Roman thermal bath's ruins lying in the heart of Paris' 5th arrondissement.
Church of Saint Severin
It is one of the oldest churches that remains standing on the Left Bank of the Latin Quarter, and it continues in use as a place of worship.

Related Tours

Private Half Day Driving Tour of Paris in a Vintage Car
Experience the highlights of Paris, the City of Lights and romance on this fabulous half-day private driving tour in a vintage 2CV with your expert guide. On your private tour you will: 

  • Enjoy the personalised attention of your private guide. 
  • Drive around the monuments and neighbourhoods of Paris in a vintage car. Surely the only way to see the City of Lights! 
  • Cruise along the famous Champs Elysées Avenue towards the Arc de Triomphe. 
  • Drive around Place de la Concorde, Les Invalides, Place Vendôme, Opera Garnier, the Musée d’Orsay, and the magnificent, still standing, Cathedral de Notre Dame.
  • Stop off for panoramic views of the city at various points with views across the domes and monuments of Paris. 
  • Take photos of the mighty Eiffel Tower at the best viewing platforms, and learn all about the most famous monument of Paris. 
  • Stop outside the Louvre for some fabulous snaps of the Pyramid and stunning French Renaissance palace, former home to the kings and queens of France.
  • Head up the hill to Montmartre, for wonderful panoramic views across the city. 
  • End in Montmartre. See the beautiful Sacre Coeur basilica, and wander through the bohemian, picturesque cobbled streets and artists squares made famous by the Impressionists. 
  • NB. The car picks up and drops off at the place of your choice.
Paris – the city of lights! What better way to tour this most romantic of cities than on a driving tour in a vintage 2CV! 

On this half tour of Parisian highlights, you’ll be picked up and dropped off at locations of your choice, then begin with a drive up the Champs Elysees. Paris’s famous shopping avenue, named for the Elysian Fields, and culminating with the iconic Arc de Triomphe, a monument to those who fought and died during the Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, and World Wars. 

Drive to Opera Garnier (site of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ for more snaps, and then the stunning Place Vendôme, home of the Paris Ritz, and featuring a monument to commemorate the victory at Austerlitz in 1805. You’ll drive around Place de la Concorde (the largest square in the city), with its obelisk marking the location of the guillotine, under which King Louis XVI was executed. 

Drive along the river Seine and see the beautiful Musée d’Orsay, a former train station turned art gallery, and of course, stop by the Louvre. The former royal palace of the French royals, with its modern glass pyramid and largest, is the grandest museum in Paris. 

Explore the wonders of the Latin Quarter, where Hemingway lived, and famed for its university and the Paris Pantheon. Stand in awe at the gothic masterpiece that is Notre Dame Cathedral – still standing despite the raging fire of 2019. See also the Conciergerie – a former palace, turned jail of the Revolution and today it is still the Paris judiciary. Take in the outside beauty of Sainte Chappelle (featuring the most impressive stain glass windows in the world). Then, visit the quintessentially French Trocadero where you will have the opportunity to snap some beautiful photos and catch some great views of the world-famous Eiffel Tower.

To conclude this epic tour of the great city of Paris you will head up the hill to Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur Basilica that looks over the city. Here, you’ll be able to stroll along the cobbled streets of this most colourful and bohemian of neighbourhoods, where you will learn more about the fascinating life and works of Renoir, Picasso, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, all of whom lived and worked here. The perfect way to experience the city if you have limited time, and also a great way to find out what to focus on for the rest of your trip. 

Tours can be adapted to suit your needs and interests – just get in contact with us!
The Latin Quarter: Parisian Authors & Thinkers
The Latin Quarter is one of Paris' most quirky and interesting neighbourhoods. It is an ambient juxtaposition of medieval backstreets, churches and grand Haussmman-style boulevards, which were built in the 19th century as part of Paris’ modernisation, the area takes its name from medieval times when the majority of local residents were clergy or students who spoke Latin. 

  • Discover the Latin Quarter with your private professional guide
  • Experience the artistic haunts of Sartre, Hemingway, and Camus
  • Get off the beaten track at Paris’ best-hidden squares and parks
  • Walk Paris' narrowest street and see the city's oldest church
  • See the famed Paris Panthéon and one of the most beautiful parks in the world - the Luxembourg Gardens
The Latin Quarter was the scene of the student uprising in May ’68, even though its medieval facade strikes a strong contrast to its liberal, intellectual and artistic side. On Boulevard St-Michel and Boulevard St Germain, you will find many cafes where the likes of Camus, Orwell, and Hemingway passed hours discussing philosophy and literature. The area is also rich with interesting book shops, most notably the Shakespeare and Company - a legendary meeting place and boarding house for many aspiring writers.

Your tour guide will direct you through the neighbourhood’s best cultural haunts: experience the wonders of medieval backstreets that are adorned with theatres and jazz clubs, unchanged since their post-war beginnings, and see the narrowest street in Paris. Visit the city’s oldest church in St Julien le Pauvre and see one of the most famous academic institutions in the world - La Sorbonne. 

Next stop off at the Panthéon, a mausoleum where many distinguished French figures such as Voltaire, Braille, and Rousseau were laid to rest. Then wander through the grounds of the stunning Luxembourg Gardens and Palace, the perfect place to people watch, enjoy nature, and feel like a true Parisian.
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