Gardens and tombs

This morning i took a detour through Jardin de Luxembourg, where I witnessed three policeman chasing a drunk man. The gardens are home to the huge mansion pictured above, and some ducks. There was also a good view of the Panthéon, my next stop.

The vast domed Panthéon was commissioned by Louis XV around 1750 as a dedication to Saint Geneviève after he recovered from an illness. However, it took nearly 40 years to complete, after which it was converted to a mausoleum for great men of France. The Panthéon is the single most impressive thing I have seen in Paris. Just take a look at this facade:

Entry to this monument was free for EU citizens between the ages of 18-25; all I had to do was present my passport. However, it wasn’t the tombs that intrigued me most about this place; it was this:

It may not look much, but that is Foucault’s pendulum, a simple but ingenious device that proves that the Earth rotates about it’s axis. On the table is a clock face, and the plane of the swing indicates the hour. You can see that it was about 12 o’clock when I took this photo. How it works is that as the pendulum swings, the Earth rotates beneath it, thus proving the theory of the rotation of the planet.

Science. Never ceases to amaze me.

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