The Pantheon in Paris is a complicated building that started out as a Catholic Church dedicated to Sainte Geneviève, the Patron Saint of Paris, then under the French Revolution became a secular monument meant to honor French Revolutionaries, then grew to include famous authors, notable persons and patriots. It is the burial-place of French notables such as Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Louis Braille, Jean Jaurès, Marie Curie, and seventy-two more.
In this episode I give you some background on the Pantheon so you can decide if you’d like to visit it next time you’re in Paris. I also address some of the controversial topics having to do with the Pantheon. Why are there so few women in the Pantheon? Why were some people taken out of the Pantheon? What does it feel like visiting the Pantheon? Four new greats were introduced into the Pantheon in June 2015. Who are they?
I answer a listener question at the end of the show on how to get from CDG airport into Paris using public transportation. Instructions on how to get to the center of Paris from CDG Terminal 1, from CDG Terminal 2 Would love more questions, click here to ask your question!
Also, for the first time today, the French Tip of the Week on how to ask for direction to the metro or RER in Paris.
Bonjour Monsieur, je cherche le métro. Pouvez-vous m’aider ?
Places mentioned on today’s show: Pantheon, Lycée Henri IV, Saint-Étienne-du-Mont Church, Jardins du Luxembourg, rue Souflot.
The chocolate museum in Paris is not the only one you can visit in France (see Episode 47 for the one found in Bayonne), but in my opinion, if you can only visit one, this should be the one. Choco-story has something for everyone:
Those who enjoy learning about the history of technology
Those who like pretty objects
And those, like me, who can’t wait to have their next bite of chocolate!
I wouldn’t say that this should be on everyone’s must-see list of Paris, but if you’ve visited Paris a few times and you’d like to see a museum that is easy to visit and enjoy, it’s a great choice. Let me hasten to say that I have no commercial relationship with this museum, I’m just sharing my opinion.
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Today Elyse tells us about two wonderful museums in Toulouse, the Augustin and the Abattoir Museums in Toulouse. These are two buildings that were re-purposed to be museums but they started out as a convent and a slaughter-house respectively. The Augustins was declared an art museum in 1793, which makes it the first museum open to the public anywhere in France, yes, even before the Louvre! How about that for a provincial city in the south-west of France? And, as a side benefit, it is also one the rare places in France where you can pet a gargoyle. We know you’ve always wanted to do that! The Abattoirs has a gruesome past, but it has been transformed into a peaceful place with a lovely garden near the Garonne River.
As you know, both Elyse and I live in Toulouse, so it’s a place that’s special to our hearts. If you’ve never seen Paris you must visit. But once you’ve seen Paris you really need to see Toulouse and go on a tour with Elyse!
Places mentioned on the show this week: Musée des Augustins in Toulouse and Musée des Abattoirs in Toulouse.
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