PANTHEON (Lat. pantheum or pantheon; Gr. (wa.vde.Lov, allholy, fromTras, all, and dm god), the name of two buildings in Rome and Paris respectively; more generally, the name oi any building in which as a mark of honour the bodies of the nation's famous men are buried, or " memorials " or monuments to Iherti are placed. Thus Westminster Abbey is sometimes. styled the British " I^antheon," and the rotunda in the Escorial where the kings of Spain are buried aLso bears the name. Near Regensburg (q.v.) is the pantheon of German worthies, known as the Valhalla. The first building to which the name was given was that built in Rome in 27 B.C. by Agrippa; it was burned later and the existing building was erected in the reign of Hadrian; since a.d. 600 it has been a Christian church, S Maria Rotunda. It was the Paris building that gave rise to the generic use of the term for a building where a nation's illustrious dead rest. The Pantheon in Paris was the church built in the classical style by Soufllot; it was begun ir\ 1764 and consecrated to the patroness of the city, Sainte Gelicvieve. At the Revolution it was secularized under the name of Le Pantheon, and dedicated to the great men of the nation;' It was reconsecrated in 1828 for worship, was again secularized in iSjo, was once more a place of worship from 1851 to jS?o, and was then a third time secularized. On the entablaAure is inscribed the words Aux Grandcs Hommes La Patrie Rec(m>}Mi.s- suntc. The decree of 1885 finally estabhshed the building for the purpose for which the name now stands.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)