* Irene's Country Corner * - Around the World - France


© Irene. Not for download. Please, visit Graphics by Irene if you like this graphic.


© Irene. Not for download. Please, visit Graphics by Irene if you like this graphic. 

Le Panthéon, Pont Alexander III & Les Invalides

© Irene. Not for download.


The construction 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.

The Marquis 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.

Situated 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.

The foundations were laid in 1758, but due to financial difficulties, it was only completed after Soufflot's death (1780) by his student, Rondelet, in 1789.

The Panthéon 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.

In 1791, 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.

Twice 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.


© Irene Mendes. Not for download.

That's me in front of the Panthéon.


The interior of the Panthéon.

© Irene Mendes. Not for download.


 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.

Other 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.


 A detail of one of the four pillars of the Pont Alexander III, with a golden bronze statue on top.


The Pont 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.

On the background you can see the Hôtel des Invalides.

© Irene Mendes. Not for download.



© Irene Mendes. Not for download.

The Hôtel National des Invalides and the Church of the Dome

A masterpiece 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 in Paris.

It houses 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.





© Jaime. Not for download. Please, visit Comet Creations if you like this graphic.

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This page was created on: February 28, 2002.
Last updated on: July 8, 2008.
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Some information from
Les Pages de Paris and Le Serveur Officielle de la ville de Paris.
~ Graphics by:
Graphics by Irene ~ Comet Creations (www.cometcreations.com) ~



© Jaime. Not for download. Please, visit Comet Creations if you like this graphic.


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