just up the road from the luxembourg garden, at the end of the street sits the Pantheon, as of this moment, my favorite church in paris (mostly because there were only about 12 other tourists in it!) it truly is a beautiful church, the columns on the outside of the building, while from far away they look nice, from close up, they are fairly intimidating.

to prove that fact, i took this picture of this poor, unsuspecting man as he stood looking up. for the size of him, he could be just a little boy!

every time i look at these pictures, i am astounded athow so much of the architecture in paris can make one feel small. the eiffel tower, the arc de triomphe, the louvre... and here the pantheon. it's all so much bigger than life...not in the las vegas sort of way... when i was in vegas, i was also astounded at the largeness of everything, but it was more of a grand scale to shock & because they can make things big, while in paris, it seems to be a natural outpouring of the french spirit - a sort of 'this is us, this is who we are, and if you want to look at it you can, and if not, i really don't care' attitude. the beauty of paris seems to be that it is designed by parisians for parisians, and those of us who are fortunate enough to see it should just consider ourselves lucky.

i think i noticed that attitude after having only been in the city a few hours. so many tourist destinations cater to their guests, as opposed to to the natives. paris really doesn't care that you're visiting. life there will go on just fine after you go home. maybe that's what i liked so much about it.

back to the pantheon, king louis XV, after surviving an illness, commissioned the pantheon to be built in dedication of Sainte-Geneviève (that's her in the picture), but now it's mostly known for the famous dead people buried there, Victor Hugo, Voltaire, and Marie Curie to name a few.

so much history. so much beauty. i left the pantheon feeling appropriately small...and i didn't mind at all.


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