Originally built as a church to honour St. Genevieve, Roman Catholic patron saint of Paris, the building is now home to the remains of many distinguished French citizens.
Once past the friendly staff at the entrance, I was taken aback by how bright and grand the interior of the building was. It dwarfed its visitors, almost making us look like ants.
There’s an entire wall dedicated to Joan of Arc, comprised of paintings by artist Jules Eugene Lenepveu. Below is Joan of Arc in Armour before Orlean, which depicts her leading her troops to victory.
Here’s the narrow spiral staircase that leads down to the crypt.
Many famous people are buried here, and I definitely recognised some of the names.
François-Marie Arouet, more commonly known by his pen name Voltaire (1694 – 1778) was a French philosopher and writer
Marie and Pierre Curie (1867-1934 and
1859-1906, respectively) discovered polonium and radium, and won a Nobel Prize for their work in Physics.
Louis Braille (1809-1852) was a French educator and the inventor of Braille, which is a tactile system of reading and writing still used by blind or visually impaired people to this day.
Outside, I was reminded how important it is to look up for a different perspective.
It was time to head back towards my hotel, and a quick Google maps search had me headed in the right direction. My jetlagged body was in desperate need of a nap.
To see more of my photos taken at the Panthéon, click here.