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French Pantheon
Attractions of Mexico City

Address: Cuauhtemoc Avenue on the corner with Baja California
Colonia Roma
Metro: Centro Médico
















The phrase “Heureux qui mort dans le seigneur” (Blessed he who dies in the Lord) marks the entrance to this cemetery and clues at the foreign origins of a lot of its occupants, some of which were the most distinguished personalities and families of the porfirian era.

The French Pantheon is located on Cuauhtémoc Avenue and is very near the Roma neighbourhood and the National Medical Centre 'Siglo XXI'. Its origins date back to the 19th Century when several private investors saw the need for a new cemetery as most of the older ones in the city were becoming overcrowded. Its design was based on a few Parisian cemeteries, specially those of Montparnasse and Per – Lachaise, and is traced around a central road that leads to the funeral chapel around which stand the mausoleums.  

The serene, sobre and elegant atmosphere of this place takes us back to a different time and serves as an escape from the noisy streets outside. It's a world of small palaces, columns, cupolas, magnificent sculptures and facades that reflect the dignity its occupants once had; great entrepreneurs and millionaires from the first part of the 20th Century who chose this place as their eternal resting place. Braniff, Torres Adalid, Gaspar Rivera are some of the names engraved in tombstones and funeral monuments, a lot of which were designed by the most outstanding architects and artists of the time who were able to give free reign to their creativity with these works through diverse symbols and sculptures. From the light gothic frugality of the funeral chapel to the profuse use of columns and ornamentation on some of the graves, which come together to form one of the most harmonious examples of mexican eclectic architecture, the Pantheon is an authentic city of the dead in the middle of a city filled with life.

Several interesting works have been conserved here over the years, like the Memorial to the Fallen from WWII, among others. Nevertheless, time and neglect are beginning to cause irreparable damage to some of the mausoleums, a situation that could be reverted by using the potencial income if they were to establish guided tours to some of the most celebrated tombs, which apart from generating enough money to restore the monuments, would be an activity that would encourage the memory of these heroes, and a homage to their past, as well as being an enriching artistic and historical experience.  Mexico, D.F. 2008. All rights reserved.