ISLE-de-FRANCE
Paris Haut-de-Seine Seine-Saint-Denis Val-de-Marne Yvelines Seine-et-Marne  Essone Val-d'Oise
 
PARIS
Because of the large number of monuments in The Louvre, I have added a separate page devoted entirely to this museum; click on the link below.
Hôtel des Invalides  The Louvre The Panthéon    

Travelling in Paris and its Environments

 
The Paris Métro underground system is the cheapest and, in principle, the best way to travel around Paris. However, it does have to be said that it is not really suitable to those who cannot manage stairs, who are physically compromised in some way, or who are carrying a large amount of luggage, as I have discovered that help is rarely, if ever, at hand.
Weekly passes are available but these are expensive unless you are travelling a good deal on the Métro; if you are making, say, one journey there and back in a day, it is cheaper to pay for each journey separately.
There are 16 lines, numbered 1 - 14 (you didn't expect it to be logical, did you?) with two lines 3 bis and 7 bis (in English, this would be 3b and 7b) which began as branches of 3 and 7. These latter are actually now separate lines but the Métro is labeled as if they were absent! The lines are both numbered and colour coded and the direction of travel is indicated by the terminus of that direction.
I have indicated at the heading of the various churches and museums the Métro station to head for; there are interchanges at various stations (about a fifth of all stations) between the several lines of the system. I do find the Métro much easier to use than the London Underground, even though I am less familiar with the system and,of course, the language, as there are fewer branches and side tracks. Tickets are a flat rate unless you travel outside the city.

 





This was the first military hospital in France, being founded by Louis XIV and  completed in 1675. A soldiers' church was already on the site but the King ordered that the Dome Church be built among the existing buildings for his exclusive use and the housing of royal tombs. This latter expectation was never realized.

In 1841 King Louis-Philippe decided to bring back Napoleon's remains from St Helena, where he had lived at Longwood under 'house arrest' from 1815 to 1821; his body was encased in six coffins and finally placed in the crypt in 1861. (right-top) The original grave site and his house on St Helena are preserved by the French Government. Later, tombs of Vauban (right-bottom)
, Marshal Foch and others have turned the Dome Church into a French military memorial. Napoleon's older brother, Joseph Bonaparte, also has a monument in the church.

In his will Napoleon requested that his body might be returned to France "to repose on the banks of the Seine in the midst of the French people I have loved so much". In the event of a refusal he wished to be buried in Geranium Valley under the willow trees adjacent to the little spring, whence his drinking water was carried daily to Longwood. His funeral took place on May 9th 1821, conducted by Father Vignali. He was buried with full military honours, the garrison, 3000 strong, lining the route with arms reversed. General Monthlon asked that the following inscription be engraved on the tomb in French: 'Napoleon Born at Ajaccio August 15, 1569. Died at St Helena May 5 1821.' The Governor declined, insisting that Bonaparte be added so the French decided to leave the stone bare. It is difficult to understand the reason prompting Sir Hudson Lowe to reject this simple inscription.

(information from Lina Knipe of the St Helena Tourist Office)

This section will be expanded in due course
 
The Panthéon

The Panthéon began as a Christian basilica, founded in 507 by the first Christian king of France, Clovis and where he and his wife, Clotilde, were buried.  St Geneviève was buried in the basilica in 512. In 1744 King Louis XV was cured from a serious illness, it is said by his invoking Saint  Geneviève; he therefore made a vow to dedicated a new basilica to the Saint, one rivaling Saint Peter's in Rome. It was completed in 1790.
In 1791, the building was transformed into the National Panthéon. It was returned to its function as a church twice during the nineteenth century.
The main level houses several very large works, both sculptures and wall paintings. Several of these are to the National Convention, Christian heroes who left their mark on France and the life of Saint Geneviève, and are not church monuments as such. Those that do fit into this definition are shown below.
The crypt contains the burial vault containing the stone coffins in various sections of Dignitaries of the Empire, Major authors, Major figures in the fight for equality, Powerful voices who gave life to democracy at the dawn of the Revolution, Those showing courage and resistance during World War II, and scientists.
With a few exceptions the stone coffins are of similar design so a list of the burial will be added in due course. I have added a few photographs of these coffins of those who would be most familiar to the English reader.

Open daily. Admission charge. Place Monge 7 (Pink); Jussieu 7 (Pink), 10 (Yellow)


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
Left: Rousseau's monument in the main level by Albert Bartholomé  (1907). Above: Rousseau's grave in the crypt; his remains were transferred here sixteen years after his death
Genevan philosopher, writer and composer; influenced the Enlightenment in France and Europe as well as certain aspects of the Revolution.

Monument to Denis Diderot (1713-1784) and the Encyclpédists by Alphonse Camille Terroire (1913) Philosopher, art critic and writer; prominent during the Enlightenment being the co-founder, chief editor and contributor to the Encyclopédie, a systematic dictionary of science, the arts and works in accordance with the thoughts of the Enlightenment.

François-Marie Arouet ('Voltaire') (1694-1778)
 
Left, above and right: Voltaire's monument and tomb, both in the crypt.
Prolific writer, historian an philosopher of the French Enlightenment, famous for his wit, attacks on the church and his advocacy of freedom of religion, speech and civil liberties.


Above from left to right:
Louis Braille ( 1809-1852), bust, in the corridor outside the burial vault which houses his grave.  Victor Hugo (1802-1885) Poet, novelist and dramatist of the Romantic period, best known for Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame; campaigner for social causes, such as the abolition of capital punishment. Emile Zola (1840-1902) Novelist, playwright and journalist; major figure in the political liberalization of France. His gravestone still remains in Montmartre cemetery from where his body was translated  to the Pantheon. Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867-1934 ) Pioneer in the development of radioactivity, discoverer of polonium and radium; the first person and only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice (physics and chemistry) & Pierre  Curie (1859-1906) Physicist, pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity and radioactivity; received Nobel Prize for physics with his wife and Henri Becquerel
       


 
 
SEINE-SAINT-DENIS
Because of the large number of monuments in the Basilica of St Denis, I have added a separate page devoted to this church; click here to access the initial index page, which also may be accessed from the gazetteer index page
 

List of Paris Churches with the Monuments they Contained
   
 Abbey of Saint Genevieve du Mont 
The Abbey was demolished during the Revolution; the Panthon was subsequently built on the site.

Details

Name Present Place
King Clovis I Saint-Denis
His wife Clothilde  
Abbey of St Germaine-des-Prés
King Childebert I Saint-Denis
King Chilperic  
His wife Frédégonde Saint-Denis
King Clotaire II  
His wife Bertrude  
King Chilperic II  
King Childeric II  
His wife Blitidis  
     
 Royaumont Abbey
The Abbey is at Asnières-sur-Oise (Val-d'Oise) and 30 km north of Paris. Partly demolished following the revolution but sacristy, cloister and sacristy remain.
Daughter of St Louis Blanche of France Saint-Denis
Son of St Louis Jean of France Saint-Denis
     
Convent of the Jacobins
de la rue Saint-Jacques
Demolished at the Revolution. It was situated between what is now rue Soufflot and rue Cujas in Paris
     
  Charles II of Valois, Count of Alençon Saint-Denis
His wife Marie of Spain Saint-Denis
     
     
Convent of the Célestins, Paris
Demolished at the Revolution. It was situated near Place de la Bastille
  Léon V de Lusignan, King of Armenia Saint-Denis
     
     
     
     





 
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