Construction of Pantheon Paris started in 1757 and it took more than 30 years to finish. The project was King Louis XV’s promise if he recovered from an illness to replace the Sainte-Genevieve church. He appointed the Marquis of Marigny to oversee this massive project and chose Soufflot as its architect. He died before the structure was finished and it was completed by his student, Jean-Baptiste Rondelet in 1789, at the start of French Revolution. The new installed government transformed it to a mausoleum for great Frenchmen. Since then the structure was changed back to a church twice, be transformed back to a mausoleum. The design is almost similar to that of Pantheon of Rome, with a portico of massive Corinthian columns. The ground floor layout is in the form of a cross (352 ft x 272 ft). The dome height is 272 ft. The vast basement of the building accommodates the crypts of many French luminaries such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Emile Zola.
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