Initially, the Pantheon functioned as a church, but it later became a burial place and shrine devoted to France's greatest thinkers. Gaze up above the doors that admit you, and you will read an inscription that dedicates the building as the country's memorial gift to France's great men. The remains of Francois-Marie Arouet--who adopted the nom de plume of Voltaire--will be found here. So will the remains of Louis Braille, Alexandre Dumas the elder and Marie Curie.
You may book a guided tour that is available in Russian, French, English and Spanish. It details the architectural intricacies of the structure, and it also touches on the lives and accomplishments of those interred within its crypt.
Place du Pantheon, 5e
011 (+33) 44 32 18 00 or 01
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is fashioned after Rome's Arch of Titus. It dates back to 1806; that's when Napoleon Bonaparte sought to memorialize his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz with the erection of the structure as a testament to his greatness. The monument is now a memorial to those who died in war and houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Notice the names of 660 military personnel from the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire; they are etched into the stone pillars.
Visitors may climb 234 steps to reach the top of the Arc de Triomphe and get a closer look at the intricate sculptures that are hard to see from the ground.
Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, 8e
011 (+33) 55 37 73 77
The church of Sainte-Chapelle is a gothic structure. If you enjoy architectural designs, this is an excellent place to visit. Its 15 large stained glass windows make the interior a marvel to behold during a sunny day. The chapel was known for its collection of Christian relics. They included the allegedly authentic Crown of Thorns and a splinter from cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. During the French Revolution, the relics were entrusted to the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
4 Boulevard du Palais
011 (+33) 53 40 60 80
Article Written By Sylvia Cochran
Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.