Saturday, November 3, 2012
For much of our time in Paris, we stayed at the Hotel Pantheon which aptly is right across the street from the Pantheon. Most every hotel in Paris was booked up so, later in the week we had to change hotels. We must have been spoiled by our spacious room at Hotel Pantheon. The second hotel we stayed at was modern but small. The bathroom was so small that I needed to open the door in order to lean over and brush my teeth using the dentist size sink.
Being near the Pantheon meant it was a little easier to navigate our way back in the evening. The dome was illuminated and could be seen from many blocks away. One evening as we stood in Place du Pantheon, we looked west and could see the Eiffel Tower illuminated far off in the distance. It began to sparkle with thousands of lights flashing. Terry struggled to find her camera and just as she was ready to shoot, the sparkling stopped. Apparently this light show only happens for a few minutes every hour.
The Pantheon (from Greek Pantheon, meaning "Every god") was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, but after many changes now functions as a secular mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens. It is an early example of neoclassicism, with a facade modeled on the Pantheon in Rome.
The neighborhood around the Pantheon is bustling with young college students going and coming from classed. I saw a sign that pointed towards an animation academy, so we might have been near Gobelins which is probably the best animation school in the world. The Paris government helps subsidize Gobelins which guarantees the city's prominence in producing talented animators.