It’s like we couldn’t see the wood for the trees – although the Pantheon is directly in front of the Hôtel des Grands Hommes and the Hôtel les Dames du Panthéon, strangely we had never visited it for the blog!
And now that the major part of the renovation is finished, visits to the dome have restarted with great views of Paris… and our hotels!
Here’s out photo report!
With this magnificent monument opposite – giving incredible views from our balconies and terraces – the Hôtel des Grands Hommes and Hôtel les Dames du Panthéon really are in an exceptional location. In fact, they are the only two hotels on place du Panthéon.
It had been a while since we’d been inside the building, and our visit was surprising for several reasons…
First of all, the façade is jaw-dropping, even more so from up close, with huge columns, sculptures and the famous saying “Aux grands hommes, la patrie reconnaissante“, expressing the country’s gratitude to its heroes.
Once inside, the vastness of the space is incredible, and we had forgotten the quantity of huge paintings on the walls – often triptychs intercut with stone columns. There are dozens of them, a delight for art lover and architecture fans alike.
We paid a measly 2 extra euros for the right to go up to the dome (on top of the 8.5€ entrance fee). Visits resumed on 1st April this year after a break of several years – the building had become unsafe, and this has been fixed by renovation.
However, there are only six visits per day, and they only run from April to October in groups of fifty people maximum – make sure you arrive early, as it would be a shame to miss the views.
Just be ready for steps – there are a lot of them. First, you go up to a gallery overlooking the main nave, giving you a fresh look at this huge area, then you’ll pass through corridors under the roof and go up to the dome (all shiny and freshly cleaned) where all of Paris is spread out before you. Twenty minutes later, on the way down, you’ll also get one last look from the roof.
No doubt about it – the view is incredible. You can also see the Hôtel des Grands Hommes and Hôtel les Dames du Panthéon rather well too!
Once back downstairs, you can continue your visit. We still hadn’t seen the rear of the building, the little room with the scale model, Foucault’s pendulum (back in place since September 2015), the great statues…
And of course, you can’t leave without seeing the crypt where the remains of France’s heroes – men and women – now rest…
We really enjoyed our visit of the Pantheon. We even learned that it used to be the highest spot in Paris until the Eiffel Tower was built! And if you are staying in one of our hotels, you really shouldn’t miss it.
The Pantheon (here) is open every day from 10am-6pm (6.30pm from 1st April-30th September)
Closed 1st January, 1st May and 25th December
Admission: 8.5€ / 6.5€ / free for under 26 year-olds (plus 2€ to go up top – six visits per day, 45 minutes, 50 people maximum)
Les Vedettes du Pont Neuf: your ticket for a Seine cruise with this company gives you 2€ off entrance to the Pantheon, and vice versa
To check out all our photos of the Pantheon, click here.