Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Panthéon Visit


History/ Synopsis:

The Panthéon (1789) was originally a church but after the Revolution, it was converted into a mausoleum for the great philosophers, military, artists, scientists and heroes of the French Republic.

Occupants of the crypt include Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Zola, the Curies and Alexandre Dumas.

In 1851 physicist Léon Foucault constructed a 67 metre pendulum beneath the central dome.  Foucault's experiment created a sensation as it was the first dynamic proof of the earth's rotation in an easy-to-see experiment.  A working replica of a Foucault pendulum is currently on display in the central dome.

it was quite fascinating to see the building (earth) rotating around the swinging pendulum. It is a difficult concept to grasp until you see it working.


Our Visit:

For our last full day in Paris and we choose to explore the "Latin Quarter" on the Left Bank of the river Seine.  We wondered the streets, had a picnic in a park and explored a market before heading off to the main attraction of the day: le Panthéon.

The architecture is really amazing but the boys were more interested in the pendulum and the crypt.  This has given us some good options for extra-homework - they don't know this yet.

For me it was interesting to see the resting places of some VIPs from the French revolution.  Ange was very interested in Marie Curie mausoleum, which was a good thing because the next stop on the secret tour was the Curie Museum around the corner.

Another good day with lots of walking. It didn't take long for little James to fall asleep on the metro going home.

image Pendulum 

Look Up 

Outside Patheon Crypt
Down in the crypt, lots of passage ways, interesting design and lighting.

Left:  Outside the Panthéon
Patheon Crypt2
  Marie Curie Study1
Above: Marie Currie's study
Right: outside the museum
Rue Pierre and Marie Curie

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