The Pantheon is a well-known landmark in Paris's 5th arrondissement. It predates the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, having been erected between 1764 and 1790 at the request of Louis XV, who wanted it to be a cathedral. The original structure was built using Italian models but with French materials, including stone donated by the prince-bishop of Cambrai.
The dome was added after its destruction by fire in 1803. The interior has been modified many times since then, but it remains one of the most elegant spaces in Paris. It's also regarded as one of the first examples of modern architecture, because it uses no structural posts or beams inside the dome itself, only walls and floors. The architect, Jacques-Marie Bruntel, called it "an immense void, filled with sunlight".
The building of the Pantheon was not without controversy when it was proposed, because it had been agreed before that there should be no other church buildings in Paris. But when the proposal for the Pantheon was made, this rule had been broken, so the Commission on Buildings again refused to approve the project. However, under pressure from the population, they finally gave in and approved it. The building of the Pantheon was started in 1764 but not finished until after the death of Napoleon in 1821.
The Pantheon is the world's oldest edifice that is still in use today. It has been a Roman Catholic church since the 7th century. It was the third version of the edifice, built approximately 125 A.D. by the Roman emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus. The original version of the temple was erected in 27 B.C. by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.
The word "Pantheon" is derived from the Greek pan (all) + theon (god).
It was not until about 50 years after it was built that the Pantheon became available for public use. Before then, it had been used exclusively by the priests of Saturn who were responsible for maintaining the temple. They entered the building through an opening in the wall of the pediment where they lit a fire to indicate when it was time to reopen the site for more visitors.
The reopening date is not known but it must have been sometime before 65 AD when it becomes available for public use. By that time, it was already becoming apparent that this new type of building would become the standard method for constructing temples all over Rome.
The Pantheon is an amazing structure and it continues to inspire people to this day. It's easy to see why - the perfect sphere is one of nature's elegant creations that shows how simple objects can be incredibly functional while at the same time being very beautiful.
The Eiffel Tower is the most well-known sight in the 7th arrondissement and throughout Paris. It was built as a "temporary" structure for the 1889 Universal Exposition (early "World's Fair") by Gustave Eiffel, but it was never demolished and is today a lasting emblem of Paris, instantly recognizable across the world. The tower is actually made up of three parts: the pedestal, the basket, and the antennae. The pedestal measures 117 feet tall and the basket rises another 164 feet ending with an antennae that sticks out over the river Seine.
In addition to being one of the main attractions of the Paris Expo, the Eiffel Tower also has become a popular meeting place and observation point. Tourists visit the tower daily to take pictures of themselves standing in front of it or with it in the background. The tower is also used as a venue for weddings and exhibitions. In 2001, Michel Vaujour designed and created a life-size replica of the Eiffel Tower made out of chocolate.
When construction on the original tower began in 1884, it was intended to be temporary. However, due to its success, further towers were built under the direction of Albert Lacroix. The final version, which stands today, was completed in 1989. There are actually several different types of iron used in its construction, but the most common one is steel. The total weight of the tower is about 2 million pounds.
Notre Dame de Paris, built between 1163 and 1245 on the Ile de la Cite, is one of the world's oldest Gothic churches. The cathedral edifice has been repaired and refurbished multiple times throughout the previous eight centuries. It is currently being restored as part of a project that will take decades to complete.
Notre Dame de Paris is the main church in France after the Vatican. It is also one of the most popular religious sites in the world. Each year, more than 20 million tourists visit the cathedral. It can be accessed through an entrance on rue Saint-Pierre or along the river Seine from the Pont Neuf bridge. There are also two other entrances on place du Parvis Notre Dame and on place du Martroi.
The original structure was built by French Christians as a replacement for a mosque that had been present on the site since 727 AD. The cathedral was completed in just over eight years at a cost of about $15 million in today's money. It is estimated that it would have cost up to $150 million in today's money. The original builders were probably French monks from the new town of Paris who used leftovers from the old mosque for their chapel. They called it "Our Lady" before converting to Christianity as leaders of the country.