Jacques Germain Soufflot (July 22, 1713 – August 29, 1780) was a French architect in the international circle that introduced Neoclassicism. His most famous work is the Panthéon, Paris, built from 1755 onwards, originally as a church dedicated to Sainte Genevieve.
Image & Text:wikipedia.com
My brother Sherry and his family lived right across from the Pantheon at #1 Place du Pantheon, when he was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Paris in the early '80's. I visited them for my 31st birthday. Below is a re-posting from October 3, 2008:
For my 31st birthday, Mother and Dad gave me a week in gay Paris Ah, April in Paris…..but ………….with Dad and Mother! We stayed with Sherry and Sallie at their wonderful apartment (rented from Georges Clemenceau’s granddaughter) at Nombre 1, Place du Pantheon. My birthday dinner was at café Le Procope, the oldest coffeehouse in Paris (possibly in Europe) and a favorite hangout of Jefferson and Franklin’s.
Sherry drove me to Fontainebleau so I could see the famous horseshoe staircase, from which Napoleon delivered his farewell to the troops at the time of his first abdication. I took the metro and walked to La Malmaison— an extraordinary house and furniture collection. Unfortunately the rose gardens have not been maintained.
[Did you know that Josephine's given name was Rose? And that her first cousin, Aimee du Buc de Rivery, was captured by Barbary pirates, sent to Constantinople, put in the harem, and was either the actual mother, or guardian of Mahmud II, Turkish Sultan at the time of Napoleon's invasion of Russia? There's a recent novel, "Seraglio," by Janet Wallach, who doesn't explore the possibility— but I've read an earlier book "The Veiled Empress" by Morton, who suggests that Mahmud II secretly broke his treaty with Napoleon soon after the Josephine divorce – the old blood is thicker routine – and that this may have been the critical difference in Napoleon's defeat in 1812. Counterfactual history is fascinating speculation, but, of course, guarantees absolutely nothing. I wrote a separate post on Aimee on May 28, 2009.]
I had spent my first day in Paris, as part of a fortnight holiday in Britain, a year and a half before. So I figured I could do the reverse, and spend a weekend in London to see my friend Jeffrey, as part of my week in Paris. Remember that this was a gift from Mother and Dad – and it came with strings. Mother had wanted me to go along with them to Mont-Saint-Michel that weekend. So I telephoned Jeffrey to say that I wouldn’t be able to make it.
As a result, I was available to have dinner with an ex-girl friend of Boyd Jarrell’s, then baritone soloist and cantor at Grace Cathedral. He had given me Lynn Davis’ phone number. When I called to take her to lunch, she invited me to dinner instead.
I regret I thought I couldn’t afford the airfare a few years later, when I was invited to Lynn and Pierre’s wedding in Michigan. I’ve seen her only a few times since.
I remember Sallie’s eating mussels at every possible occasion at Mont-Saint-Michel. Sheridan says she still has a passion for them. I also have fond memories of playing with Sheridan and Morgan around the cloister, in the turrets, and on the walls.