|Originally this impressive edifice was built by Louis XV to honor Saint Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, and to honor the promise made to the monks of the abbey after the king was saved from serious illness. The commission went to the youngish Soufflot who had visited Paestum in Italy and was impressed with the classical idea of architecture. His original design was a Greek cross in plan with a large entrance portico and with a centrally placed altar under an impressive dome. This design, however, underwent changes so that the whole was more traditional with long nave and transept and flanking bell towers were added. Eventually the church was altered to become a pantheon, a building where the famous dead are laid to rest.|
Monolithic facadeWhen the church was converted to a memorial function, the aisle windows were closed in.
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