Reminiscing in the Parlor : Leisurely Viewing Stereographs
Title:
Panthéon, Paris, France
Date:
1877
Place:
France/Paris
Print Size:
6.875 x 3.313
Description:
One stereograph of the Panthéon, Paris, France. The photograph shows the building from the front, with the temple pediment, columns, and central dome. The front of the card has the title, series "PAIS NOUVEAU PHOGRAPHIE N.C. A PARIS" printed on it. The back has the initials "M.F.H." and the year "'77." This stereograph is part of a number of cards dated this year, from England, Germany, Italy and France.
Notes:
The Panthéon (Latin Pantheon[1], from Greek Pantheon, meaning "Temple of all the Gods") is a building in the Latin Quarter in Paris, France. It was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, but after many changes now combines liturgical functions with its role as a famous burial place. It is an early example of Neoclassicism, with a façade modelled on the Pantheon in Rome, surmounted by a small dome that owes some of its character to Bramante's "Tempietto". Located in the Ve arrondissement on the top of Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, the Panthéon looks out over all of Paris.

King Louis XV vowed in 1744 that if he recovered from an illness he would replace the ruined church of Sainte-Geneviève (see entry Genevieve) with an edifice worthy of the patron saint of Paris. The Marquis of Marigny was entrusted with the work. He had sponsored the architect Soufflot, whom he chose for the construction of the new Église Sainte-Geneviève (today the "Panthéon"), a major work in the neoclassical style. The overall design was that of a Greek cross with a massive portico of Corinthian columns. Its ambitious lines called for a vast building 110 metres long by 84 metres wide, and 83 metres high. No less vast was its crypt.

The foundations were laid in 1758, but due to financial difficulties, it was only completed after Soufflot's death by his pupil, Jean-Baptiste Rondelet, in 1789. As it was completed at the start of the French Revolution, the new Revolutionary government ordered it to be changed from a church to a mausoleum for the interment of great Frenchmen.

Twice since then it has reverted to being a church, only to become again a temple to the great intellectuals of France.

In 1851 physicist Léon Foucault demonstrated the rotation of the Earth by his experiment conducted in the Panthéon, by constructing a 67 meter Foucault pendulum beneath the central dome. The original iron sphere from the pendulum was returned to the Panthéon in 1995 from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers.
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