Church of the Sorbonne

This is the oldest part of the university’s buildings; erected between 1635 and 1642 by Lemercier, it has a typically Baroque facade with two orders, surmounted and dominated by its elegant cupola. Volutes link the lower order to the upper. The columns at ground level become flatter pilaster strips higher up, thus creating a gradual concentration of the luminous quality of the structure.

Interior. In the transept is the white marble tomb of Cardinal Richelieu, sculpted by Girardon to a design by Le Brun in 1694.

The hill on which we are now is called the Montagne Ste Genevieve. We walk along Rue Soufflot, full of bookshops and publishers of legal works. At the top of the street, at the corner of Place du Pantheon, are on the left the Faculty of Law ( Soufflot, 1770 ) and on the right the Town Hall of the 5th Arrondissement ( Hittorf, 1850 ).

In the square, which is dominated by the majestic mass of the Pantheon, is the Library of Ste Genevieve, designed by Labrouste ( 1844-1850 ), with a wealth of manuscripts and early printed books. At the sides of the Pantheon are two marble statues, representing Corneille and Rousseau.

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