Pantheon Rome vs Pantheon Paris: Original or Replica?

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The Roman Pantheon has been one of Italy’s most architecturally advanced attractions since 125 AD.

In 1790, a new replica of the Pantheon arose in Paris, which grabbed the world’s attention with its similar architecture and unique interior.

Both of these attractions are known to be the best in their way and have made their way into the bucket lists of all travelers. 

But the biggest confusion is- which Pantheon should you visit in Europe?

Let’s compare the two architectural marvels of the ancient and the modern world and help you choose the best destination for your next trip!

In this article, the two wonders will battle against each other, and we’ll decide who emerges with the best architecture and the most convenient features and timings.

Pantheon Paris vs Rome- Our Recommendation!

 Rome
Image : Photo by Nadine Marfurt on Unsplash

In this competition for the best between the Pantheon in Rome vs Paris- the Roman Pantheon is our favorite!

The Roman Pantheon wins for its unique Roman architecture as it is an iconic landmark worldwide.

The Basilica’s beautiful portico and dome cannot be rivaled, even when replicated by the Paris Pantheon. 

While the Paris Pantheon puts up a worthy struggle, the Roman Pantheon’s deep historical significance and features make it a clear winner.

Read further to see if you agree with our choice and to know what makes it the best among the two! 

Pantheon Rome vs Paris: A Quick Comparison 

Rome PantheonParis Pantheon
Location: Rome, Italy. Location: Paris, France. 
Size: 142 feet in diameterSize: 84 meters in width and 110 meters in length
Dome: The largest unsupported Dome with an Oculus. Dome: Saucer-shaped stone Dome 
View from Dome: Closed to the publicView from Dome: Eiffel Tower and surrounding Parisian structures. 
Architecture: Greek-style temple with Corinthian Columns. Architecture: Neoclassical and Gothic. 
Features: 7 Niches with Christian relics50 Roman-feet tall PorticoHigh altar and apseTombs of famous peopleFeatures: Paintings of SaintsCopy of the Foucault PendulumCrypts of more than 70 important people.Entrance portico 
Ticket Price: €15Ticket Price: €13
Buy this ticket! Buy this ticket!

Dome Craftsmanship & View

Dome Craftsmanship Roman Pantheon
Image: Kidsnews.com.au

The Roman Pantheon has one of the largest domes in the world, standing at a height of 71 feet (22 meters).

It has no columns to support it and has a unique 27-foot-wide oculus, which shows a clear view of the sky.

The open dome gives the building a bright appearance, and you can even experience rainfall inside the Pantheon during a heavy downpour!

Sadly, visitors cannot climb to the top of the dome to enjoy the city view. 

The Paris Pantheon is 83 feet tall, which is 11 feet taller than the Roman Pantheon’s Dome.

It is constructed using a unique technique of having three domes inside each other and is entirely made of stone.

From the inside, you can see a stunning circular painting of Saint Genevieve by Antoine-Jean Gros.

Visitors can climb 276 steps to get to the top of the Parisian Pantheon dome and enjoy a 360-degree view of the city, along with famous attractions such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and Eiffel Tower!

When we compare the craftsmanship of the domes, the Roman Pantheon is a clear winner with its unique open oculus and unsupported dome!

But when we compare the two attractions for their view, the Paris Pantheon’s Dome is higher and offers the city’s best view, while the Rome Pantheon Dome is not open for climbing. 

Ticket Prices

You must buy a ticket to enter and explore the Pantheon in Rome and Paris. 

The standard entry Pantheon Rome tickets with access to all parts of the Pantheon and an informative audio guide cost €15!

The standard Pantheon Paris tickets allow you to access the crypts and all parts of the Paris Pantheon, including the exhibition by Jacques Germain Soufflot, for €13!

When we compare the price range of the tickets for the Pantheons, we see that the Paris Pantheon is cheaper and offers a complete experience. 

Features of the Roman Pantheon

The Roman and Paris Pantheon are similar in appearance, but some of the architectural differences make them both unique. 

The most striking features of the Roman Pantheon are: 

1. The Portico

The Portico
Image: Smarthistory.org

The entrance of the Roman Pantheon looks so grand because of the 16 massive columns of around 39 feet standing to welcome you.

These Corinthian-style columns were carried and brought to the Pantheon all the way from Egypt. 

The base on which this marvelous portico stands is made entirely of Greek white marble.

At the top of the entrance is a Latin statement saying, “Marcus Agrippa, Son of Lucius, made this building” to keep Marcus Agrippa, the constructor, alive in history! 

2. The Oculus Dome

Pantheon
Image: Kristinandreajones.com

The 27-foot-wide opening in the dome is known as the oculus dome, which is the feature that makes the Pantheon the most visited.  

The word ‘oculus’ means ‘eye,’ which perfectly describes the dome and acts as a symbol connecting the Basilica to the heavens above. 

The entire dome is a marvel of ancient Roman architectural intelligence, as any columns do not support it. 

Hadrian constructed it so that the Dome becomes lighter at the top, needing no columns to keep it upright!

3. Rotunda

Rotunda
Image: Smarthistory.org

The dome is supported by a circular wall and base called the Rotunda, having a diameter of 142 feet. 

It was constructed with concrete, and at the top is a collection of arches made of a mixture of lightweight stones like pumice.

This light material ensures the dome can stay up without extra columns supporting its weight. 

4. Interior Architecture 

Since the oculus remains uncovered in all seasons, as soon as you enter the Pantheon, you will be greeted by drains on the floor that collect rainwater.

The only two light sources in the structure are the open door and the oculus, which functions in a sundial-like manner. 

The marble flooring also has a checkerboard square pattern, making it stand out from the circular building and dome shape. 

Every interior zone has its division; hence, they do not line up together in a symmetrical way. 

5. Tombs in the Roman Pantheon

The Pantheon is home to the remains of some famous artists, composers, and even the first King and Queen of Italy!

Each tomb has a unique architecture, as they are all crafted by renowned architects.

The most famous tombs in the Pantheon belong to Raphael and his fiance, King Victor Emmanuel II, Queen Margherita of Savoy, and architect Baldassare Peruzzi. 

6. Altar space

The attractive altar space was designed between 1700 and 1721 by Alessandro Specchi.

It has a beautiful Roman-Byzantine silver-plated panel of the Virgin Mary’s ascension into heaven over the altar from the 17th century. 

On the left side of the altar is a statue of St. Anastasius done by Francesco Moderati, and on the right is St. Rasio by Bernadino Cametti. 

At the back of the Basilica is the altar of St. Paul, showing his beheading with a marble statue. 

On the left is a statue of St. Peter’s crucifixion, and he is portrayed hanging upside down. 

7. Ancient Roman Statues

Since the Roman Pantheon was previously a temple to the Roman Gods, you can still see some of this history. 

Marble statues of Jupiter, Mars, and Venus still stand inside the Pantheon and are known for their intricate details. 

You can also see massive statues of Emperor Augustus and Marcus Agrippa at the entrance of the Portico. 

Features of the Parisian Pantheon

The Paris Pantheon might be a replica of the Roman Pantheon, but it has some unique artistic features.

Here are some of the exciting features of the Parisian Pantheon: 

1. The Stone Dome

The dome of the Paris Pantheon is made entirely of stone and has a unique structure of three domes within each other.

The outer dome had columns through which you could see the other domes on the inside.

Visitors can climb this 83-foot-tall dome and enjoy the stunning views of the city and popular attractions from the top. 

2. Outer Facade and Entrance

To replicate the beautiful exterior of the Roman Pantheon, the Paris Pantheon also has a portico with Corinthian columns. 

At the top of this attractive Portico is a stunning carved religious pediment, showing images of great men and scholars like Voltaire and Rousseau on the left.

On the right are carvings of military soldiers, including Napoleon Bonaparte.

The inscription at the base of this design says, “To the great men, from a grateful nation.” 

Holding up the pediment are five bas-reliefs, symbolizing public education and devotion, which is what the Pantheon was built for. 

The original design of the facade had large windows, which have now been covered to make the interior appear darker.

3. Foucault Pendulum

A famous Foucault pendulum, which demonstrated the spinning of the earth, was made by Leon Foucault. 

This pendulum was put on a temporary display at the Paris Pantheon in the 1990s and is now moved to the Musee des Arts et Metiers.

You can still see a replica of this masterpiece pendulum in the Paris Pantheon, a national heritage site, because of this art piece. 

4. Crypt Area

You can see the tombs of some of the most famous philosophers, like Voltaire, and important figures like Victor Huge at the crypt of the Pantheon in Paris. 

Visitors can learn more about France’s history and culture by visiting the Pantheon’s crypt area.

5. Interior Design

The interior of the Parisian Pantheon has beautiful columns that hold up the ceiling and give the room a Gothic appearance.

All the walls are covered with paintings by 19th-century artists depicting the lives of Saints Genevieve and Denis. 

The paintings in the South and North nave show scenes from the lives of Catholic French heroes like Charlemagne, Joan of Arc, and more. 

Pantheon Paris vs Rome: Which has better features?

The Roman and Parisian Pantheon have unique features that make them worth your visit. 

The replica Parisian Pantheon portico cannot beat the Roman Pantheon’s original portico design and oculus. 

The Roman Pantheon is also the burial ground of some of the most famous Italian rulers and artists, which provides an excellent experience for all history lovers. 

The only disadvantage of visiting the Roman Pantheon is that visitors cannot climb to the top of the beautiful dome, which can be done in the Paris one. 

When we compare the features of the Roman and Paris Pantheon, we see that the Roman Pantheon is the winner for its original design and unique architecture. 

Location of the Pantheon 

The Roman Pantheon stands at the heart of Rome on Via della Rotunda!

It is close to other famous attractions, including the Obelisk of Ramses II and the beautiful fountain of the Pantheon.

Address: Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy. Get Directions.

The Parisian Pantheon is a massive structure on the left bank of the Seine River in the 5th arrondissement. 

It is within a 9-minute walk from the Luxembourg Gardens.

Address: Pl. du Panthéon, 75005 Paris, France. Get Directions.

Both Pantheons are easy to locate because of their tall height and can be easily accessed by different types of public transportation. 

Opening Hours: Pantheon Paris vs Pantheon Rome

The Roman Pantheon is open from 9 am to 7 pm, with the last admission at 6.45 pm on all days of the week. 

The Paris Pantheon opens at 10 am and closes at 6.30 pm, with the last admission at 5.45 pm from April to September.

From November to March, visitors can explore the Paris Pantheon from 10 am to 6 pm on all days of the week.

Please note: Ensure to check the timings of the Pantheon from their official websites before visiting.

Expected Crowds & Popularity

These attractions are world-famous but attract different crowd levels throughout the year.

The Roman Pantheon attracts over 7 million visitors every year, with the most crowd visiting between the months of June and August.

The Paris Pantheon is considerably less crowded, attracting 1.2 million visitors annually.

Since Paris is the most crowded city in Italy, we do not recommend visiting in the months from June to August.

Italy and France are the least crowded with tourists in the months from October to April, making this the best time to visit both the Pantheons.

The best way to beat the crowds is to explore early in the morning, as soon as the Tower opens, or in the late evening time before it closes.

When we compare the two Pantheons- the Roman Pantheon is much more popular, attracting millions more visitors than the Paris Pantheon. 

In conclusion, is the Roman or Paris Pantheon better?

Selecting one as the best between the two depends on the sort of experience you want to have.

Visitors wanting to enjoy seeing the miraculous standing basilica of Rome, with its unsupported ancient dome and beautiful entrance, should visit the Roman Pantheon.

Those who want a romantic experience with a top-floor view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris should choose the Parisian Pantheon.

Both structures provide an excellent experience of their home countries and have unique, must-see features.

FAQs on Pantheon Paris vs Rome

Is it worth seeing the Pantheon Paris?

The Pantheon in Paris is a fascinating historical attraction holding the tombs of important figures.

It also has the most beautiful exterior and interior and is a must-see on your Paris trip. 

Is the Pantheon in France or Italy?

There are two Pantheons; the original one is in Italy, and its replica can be seen in France.

Is the Roman or Paris Pantheon more accessible?

 The Roman Pantheon is entirely accessible by wheelchair.

The Paris Pantheon is not recommended for those with mobility problems since no ramps or elevators are available.

Which Pantheon is cheaper to visit?

The Paris Pantheon is cheaper to visit, with an entry ticket of €13, allowing you to access all parts of the attraction at your own pace. 

Can you climb to the top of the Pantheon in Paris?

You can climb 276 steps to reach the top of the Pantheon’s dome in Paris.

What can you see from the Pantheon in Paris?

From 83 feet above the top of the Pantheon in Paris, you can see a clear view of the neighboring Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. 

Which Pantheon has a unique dome- the Roman or Parisian Pantheon?

The Roman Pantheon has the most unique dome in the world, which is entirely unsupported. At the center of this dome is a stunning oculus with a clear sky view.

Does the Roman Pantheon inspire the Parisian Pantheon? 

Even though they have differences, the Parisian Pantheon is considered a replica of the Roman Pantheon.

The exterior of the Paris Pantheon, especially the entrance, is entirely inspired by the Roman Pantheon.

The interior architecture follows a Neoclassic Gothic style with columns, which is very different from the simple, no-column interior of the Roman Pantheon.

Featured Image : Stock photos by Vecteezy

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