Panthéon, Pont Alexander III & Les Invalides
of the Panthéon, began after Louis XV vowed in 1744 that
if he recoverd from an illness he would replace the ruined church
of St-Genèvieve Abbey with an edifice to the glory of
the patron saint of Paris: St-Genèvieve.
of Marigny was entrusted with the fulfillment of the vow after
the king regained his health. Soufflot, Marigny's protégé,
was charged with the plans.
on the Montagne St-Genèvieve, it had a commanding view
of the city. The overall design was that of a Greek cross with
a massive portico of corinthian columns. The fine building combines
the traditional architecture forms of classical antiquity with
the structural lightness of Gothic. The buidling is 110 metres
long by 84 metres wide, and 83 metres high.
were laid in 1758, but due to financial difficulties, it was
only completed after Soufflot's death (1780) by his student,
Rondelet, in 1789.
was used for religious and civil purposes until 1885, when the
ashes of Victor Hugo were brought to the place, dedicating it
to the Republican creed.
the Revolution transformed the church and changed its mission
from that of a church to that of a mausoleum for the remains
of great Frenchmen.
since then it has reverted to being a church, only to become
again a temple to the great men of France. Among those 77 men
buried in its necropolis are Voltaire, Rousseau, Mirabeau, Marat,
Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, and Soufflot, its architect. The remains of Jean Moulin - hero of the French
Resistence during the Second World War - were moved by President
Charles de Gaulle.
me in front of the Panthéon.
of the Panthéon.
The Alexander III bridge
was constructed by the engineers Résal and d'Alvy and
its construcion lasted two years. The tsar Nicolas II, laid the
first stone in 1896, but the overture was inaugurated close to
the Exposition universelle de 1900.
bridges of Paris: Pont Amont, Pont National,
Pont de Tolbiac, Pont de Bercy, Pont Charles de Gaulle, Pont
d'Austerlitz, Pont Sully, Pont de la Tournelle, Pont Marie, Pont
de l'Archevêché, Pont Saint Louis, Pont Louis Philippe,
Pont au Double, Pont d'Arcole, Petit Pont, Pont Notre-Dame, Pont
Saint Michel Pont-au-Change, Pont Neuf , Passerelle des Arts,
Pont du Carrousel, Pont-Royal, Passerelle Solférino, Pont
de la Concorde, Pont des Invalides, Pont de l'Alma (where the
princess Diana was killed in a car accident in 1998), Passerelle
Debilly, Pont d'Iéna, Pont de Bir-Hakeim, Pont de Grenelle,
Pont Mirabeau, Pont du Garigliano and Pont Aval.
detail of one of the four pillars of the Pont Alexander III,
with a golden bronze statue on top.
Alexander III, a 40 meters long bridge, with a beautiful decoration,
is the most elegant bridge in Paris. Its four pillars (17 meters
high) have four magnificent equestrian golden bronze statues.
background you can see the Hôtel des Invalides.
National des Invalides and the Church of the Dome
of seventeenth century architecture. The hotel occupies a large
quadrilateral. Built by Libéral Bruant from 1671 to 1676,
then by Mansart, it is one of the most prestigious buildings
4 museums: the Musée de l'Armée, the Musée
d'Histoire Contemporaine, the Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération,
the Musée des Plans et Reliefs. The tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte
is located in the Church of the Dome.