The story of the French Republic in a giant box? The Pantheon, a Temple to Reason and the Sacred

The Pantheon needs very little – if any – introduction as one of Paris’ most famous monuments to the minds and souls that gave shape to the French republic.

Initially commissioned by the throne as a sacred monument to the Patron Saint of Paris St. Genevieve, the structure was subsequently converted into a monument to both the sacred and secular forces that laid the foundation of France’s several republics.

Well, it is a bit creepy that the Pantheon’s primary lure are tombs – the bones of dead people, however famous they are, packaged into impressive feats of sculpture, architecture and art. Nonetheless, this eerie but elaborate, impressive structure – with some of the most impressive Corinthian columns anywhere – is worth the time it takes to have a look around.

The artwork and monuments are impressive – from baroque-esque murals to depictions of several famous French historical figures from King Clovis I, Joan of Arc, Saint Genevieve (of course) to Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas – it is a worthwhile pilgrimage to make to this temple to reason and to the Sacred, too.

The downside is that given its historical significance, the Pantheon tends to attract large crowds and can be a bit difficult to navigate.