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The Panthéon (Latin Pantheon, from Greek Pantheon, meaning "Temple of all the Gods") is a building in the northern edge of the old town of Caracasmarker, Venezuelamarker. It was originally built as a church, but is now used as a famous burial place. The entire central nave is dedicated to Simón Bolívar, with the altar's place taken by the hero's bronze sarcophagus, while lesser luminaries are relegated to the aisles. The national pantheon's vault is covered with 1930s paintings depicting scenes from Bolívar's life, and the huge crystal chandelier glittering overhead was installed in 1883 on the centennial of his birth.

History

Santísima Trinidad Church, 1874
Old facade of the National Pantheon, 1912
On March 27, 1874, president Antonio Guzmán Blanco decreed the transformation of the Santísima Trinidad church of Caracas into a National Pantheon, to conserve the remains of the heroes of Independence and those of eminent people. This church was constructed by Juan Domingo del Sacramento Infante in the middle of the 17'th century, the 1812 earthquake destroyed it almost totally, its slow reconstruction continued under the direction of several engineers and when was decree as Pantheon, it was still not finished.

The choice of this temple for so lofty a destiny was motivated as much by its then-panoramic and distant position from the urban nucleus of Caracas, as by its historical antecedents, during the return of Simón Bolívar's remains from Santa Marta in 1842, they were deposited temporarily at this church. In the church were also buried, in 1851, the remains of Francisco Rodríguez del Toro (Marqués del Toro), those of José Gregorio Monagas, Andrés Ibarra and Ezequiel Zamora. The decree of Guzmán Blanco was accompanied with the order of the completion of its facades, being finished the project made by engineer José Gregorio Solano during 1853-1858. It was the first design of neogothic architecture in Venezuela, consisted of a symmetrical facade of three doors and two angular towers. The works were led, successively, by the engineers Julian Churión, Juan Hurtado Manrique, Tomás Soriano and Roberto García, finishing on October 28, 1875. Nevertheless, the inauguration of the building occurred during St. Simon's day, when the remains of the Liberator were transferred from the cathedral. These were placed in a wooden sarcophagus with silver and gold coating, made in a neogothic style by the French engraver Emile Jacquin. The statue of the Liberator executed in 1842 by the Italian sculptor Pietro Tenerani was also transferred from the cathedral. The sarcophagus and the statue were placed in the space that was used by the priest of the church. From the ceiling, a crystal chandelier from Bacarat with 230 lights was hung. In 1910, the government of Juan Vicente Gómez undertook a general renovation of the building, following the plans of architect Alejandro Chataing. Some changes to the facade were introduced, and the inner decoration was modified, placing a sky-light in the ceiling of the nave.
National Pantheon, circa 1930
The floor was paved with white, gray and black marble slabs. These works were finished in 1911, on the occasion of the centenary of Independence.

Another redesign of the Pantheon was ordered during Gómez government in 1929, according to the plans of architect Manuel Mujica Millán. This consisted of a radical change in the facades to a neocolonial and neobaroque design, adding in the front a third central tower 48 m high and replacing the lateral ones by others, all constructed of reinforced concrete. Also a new porch with a single entrance was added. The height of the lateral facades was increased, opening the windows in harmony with the internal chapels. Also, the entrance stairs were extended and made the more monumental. These works, which gave the building its present aspect, were undertaken during the year 1930 under the direction of Mujica and the engineers Edgar Pardo, Hernán Ayala and Guillermo Salas. Internally, corrections were made in the arches and the columns. The old wooden sarcophagus that contained the remains of El Libertador was replaced by one of bronze, designed by Spanish sculptor Chicharro Gamo and placed on a marble plinth. The previous marble pavement was replaced, the wooden ceilings were also replaced. The upper part of the nave and of the arches were covered by paintings with allegorical and historical subjects by painter Tito Salas.

National Pantheon

Bolívar´s tomb at the National Pantheon
Cenotaph of Francisco de Miranda
Cenotaph of Antonio José de Sucre
Monument to José Antonio Páez
Cenotaph of Andrés Bello
Monument to José María Vargas
Monument to Santiago Mariño
Monument to José Gregorio Monagas
First Republic Monument
Federation´s Monument
Inside the Pantheon, on both sides of the main recess that contains the tomb and monument to the Liberator, there are the statues of Francisco de Miranda and Antonio José de Sucre, respectively. Along the whole of the side walls, there are monuments dedicated to the First Republic, José Gregorio Monagas, Andrés Bello, José Antonio Páez, Rafael Urdaneta and José María Vargas and other important Venezuelan people. Under the pavement, in the two side caissons the remains of famous and illustrious Venezuelans are placed, labelled by tablets.

In 1963 the government decreed a regulation, establishing that the building must be opened to the public every day of the year. At the same time, the administration of the graves and other procedures are responsibility of the Ministry of Interior. In 1980, city-planning works to remodel the surroundings of the Pantheon were initiated in accordance with the study of architect Tomás Sanabria.

List of personalities who are buried at the Pantheon

  • Cecilio Acosta. Writer, journalist and humanist. (July 5, 1937).
  • José Ángel de Álamo. Doctor, leader of the Independence movement. (May 9, 1876).
  • Francisco de Paula Alcántara. General in the War of Independence. (June 6, 1876).
  • Demetrio Alfaro. Officer in the War of Independence. (May 28, 1876).
  • Lisandro Alvarado. Doctor. (May 14, 1980).
  • Raimundo Andueza. Lawyer, soldier and politician, father of President Raimundo Andueza Palacio. (September 2, 1881).
  • Francisco Aranda. Politician. (May 18, 1898).
  • Juan Bautista Arismendi. Officer in the War of Independence. (January 29, 1877).
  • Jesús María Aristiguieta. Military and politician in the War of Independence. (March 18, 1890).
  • Carlos Arvelo. Doctor and politician. (December 16, 1942).
  • Rafael Arvelo. Journalist. (July 12, 1877).
  • Francisco de Paula Avendaño. Officer in the War of Independence. (March 16, 1966).
  • Rafael María Baralt. Writer and historian; ambassador to Spain. (November 23, 1982).
  • José Miguel Barceló.. Military of the Federal War. (May 14, 1878).
  • Pedro Bárcenas. Doctor and officer in the War of Independence. (November 5, 1877).
  • Víctor Barret de Nazarís. Military and politician of the Federal War. (August 25, 1896).
  • Renato Beluche. Sailor in the Venezuelan Navy during the War of Independence. (July 22, 1963).
  • José Francisco Bermúdez. Officer in the War of Independence. (October 24, 1877).
  • Pedro Bermúdez Cousín. Lawyer, soldier and politician. (December 30, 1875).
  • Andrés Eloy Blanco. Poet and politician. (July 2, 1981).
  • José Félix Blanco. Priest. (July 3, 1896).
  • Manuel Blanco. Sailor who fought with San Martín and Simón Bolívar. (April 15, 1876).
  • Rufino Blanco Fombona. Writer and politician. (June 23, 1975).
  • Simón Bolívar. Liberator of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. (October 28, 1876).
  • Justo Bricéño. Officer in the War of Independence. (May 21, 1876).
  • Mario Briceño Iragorry. Historian, writer and diplomat. (March 6, 1991).
  • Domingo Briceño y Briceño. Lawyer, journalist and writer. (May 6, 1876).
  • Luis Brión. Official of the Venezuelan Navy. (April 10, 1882).
  • Blas Bruzual. Military, politician and journalist. (August 16, 1889).
  • Manuel Ezequiel Bruzual. Military and politician. (November 13, 1872).
  • Lorenzo Bustillos. Officer in the War of Independence. (February 17, 1877).
  • Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi. Patriot and Heroine of the Venezuelan War of Independence. (August 14, 1876).
  • Josefa Venancio de la Encarnación Camejo. Heroine in the War of Independence.
  • Francisco Carabaño Aponte. Officer in the War of Independence. (May 18, 1876).
  • Teresa Carreño. Pianist and composer. (December 9, 1977).
  • José de la Cruz Carrillo. Officer in the War of Independence. (December 15, 1971).
  • Carlos Luis Castelli. Officer in the War of Independence. (May 11, 1876).
  • Juan Francisco del Castillo. Lawyer, military and politician. (July 2, 1893).
  • Cipriano Castro. Military and President of Venezuela. (December 6, 2002).
  • Manuel Cedeño. Officer in the War of Independence. (December 16, 1942).
  • Lino de Clemente. Official of the Venezuelan navy. (July 21, 1961).
  • Agostino Codazzi. Military, scientist, geographer and cartographer.(December 16, 1942).
  • Juan Fermín Colmenares. Military and politician at the Federal War. (August 20, 1881).
  • Juan José Conde. Officer in the War of Independence. (May 19, 1876).
  • José María Delgado Correa. (May 20, 1876).
  • Manuel María Echeandía. (April 18, 1876).
  • Juan Crisóstomo Falcón. Soldier, politician, and President of Venezuela. (May 1, 1874).
  • León de Febres Cordero. Officer in the War of Independence. (December 16, 1942).
  • Carmelo Fernández. Officer in the War of Independence. (August 18, 1983).
  • Fernando Figueredo. Officer in the War of Independence. (June 29, 1937).
  • Alejo Fortique. Politician and diplomat. (April 30, 1876).
  • Rómulo Gallegos. Writer and politician, President of Venezuela. (May 3, 1994).
  • Juan Garcés. Soldier in the war of Independence. (November 26, 1934).
  • José María García. Navy officer in the War of Independence. (August 15, 1896).
  • Valentín García. Officer in the War of Independence. (April 27, 1961).
  • Miguel Gil. Soldier in the War of Independence. (August 5, 1876).
  • Francisco Esteban Gómez. Officer in the War of Independence. (August 20, 1881).
  • José de Jesús González. Military leader of the Federal War. (April 22, 1897).
  • Tomás Green. (August 24, 1876).
  • Guaicaipuro. Indigenous chief. (December 9, 2001).
  • Juan Bautista Guerra Carrillo.
  • Manuel María Guevara. (August 10, 1877).
  • Antonio Leocadio Guzmán. Politician and journalist. (November 18, 1884).
  • Antonio Guzmán Blanco. Military, lawyer and President of Venezuela. (1999).
  • Tomás de Heres. Officer in the War of Independence. (December 16, 1942).
  • Francisco Hurtado. (May 26, 1876).
  • Andrés Ibarra. Officer in the War of Independence. (August 24, 1875).
  • Diego Ibarra. Officer in the War of Independence. (October 20, 1876).
  • Francisco de Ibarra. Priest. (November 9, 1880).
  • Juan Domingo del Sacramento Infante. Bricklayer, constructor of the Santísima Trinidad Church (Current National Pantheon). (December 13, 1780).
  • Tomás Lander. Journalist, farmer, politician, and propagator of Venezuelan liberal thought. (April 5, 1884).
  • José Prudencio Lanz. (April 21, 1876).
  • Jacinto Lara. Officer in the War of Independence. (July 24, 1911).
  • Francisco Lazo Martí. Doctor and poet. (October 27, 1983).
  • Andrés Olimpo Level. Magistrate, lawyer, politician and journalist. Active in the War of Independence. (November 28, 1876).
  • Francisco Linares Alcántara. Soldier and politician, President of Venezuela. (December 4, 1878).
  • Enrique Luzón. German-born and originally named Heinrich von Lützow Officer in the War of Independence. (December 12, 1877).
  • José Tomás Machado. Official of the Venezuelan Navy. (December 16, 1942).
  • Vicente Marcano. Engineer, chemist and geologist. (July 10, 1991).
  • Santiago Mariño. Officer in the War of Independence. (January 1, 1877).
  • Zoilo Medrano. Farmer leader of the Federal War. (April 22, 1897).
  • Ramón Ignacio Méndez de la Barta. Priest, lawyer and politician during the Independence War.(December 16, 1942).
  • Arturo Michelena. Painter. (July 29, 1948).
  • Guillermo Michelena Salías. Doctor, university professor, and science writer. (November 10, 1891).
  • Carlos Minchin. Officer in the War of Independence. (June 4, 1879).
  • José Gregorio Monagas. General in the War of Independence, President of Venezuela, Liberator of the slaves. (November 13, 1872).
  • José Tadeo Monagas. Military leader, President of Venezuela. (May 17, 1877).
  • Mariano Montilla. Officer in the War of Independence. (July 3, 1896).
  • Juan de Dios Monzón. Doctor, soldier and politician. (April 20, 1876).
  • José Trinidad Morán. Writer and officer in the War of Independence. (December 3, 1954).
  • Tomás Muñoz y Ayala. (June 14, 1892).
  • Pedro Navarro Bolet. (January 29, 1878).
  • Carlos Núñez. Member of the Patriotic Society during the Independence. (February 17, 1877).
  • Daniel Florencio O'Leary. Irish officer serving in the Venezuelan and Colombian army during the War of Independence. (April 10, 1882).
  • Manuel Germán Ojeda Muñiz. (December 20, 1875).
  • José Manuel Olivares. Officer in the War of Independence. (May 14, 1876).
  • José Antonio Páez. General-in-Chief of Venezuelan Independence. (April 19, 1888).
  • Miguel Palacio Fajardo. Doctor and lawyer. Officer in the War of Independence. (1876).
  • Juan Antonio Paredes Angulo. Officer in the War of Independence. (September 16, 1960).
  • Francisco Vicente Parejo. Officer in the War of Independence. (May 18, 1876).
  • Ana Teresa Parra Sanojo. Writer. (November 7, 1989).
  • Jesús María Paúl. (February 11, 1877).
  • Miguel Peña. Lawyer and politician. (July 24, 1911).
  • Fernando Peñalver. Signer of the Act of Independence. (July 3, 1896).
  • Juan Antonio Pérez Bonalde. Poet. (February 14, 1946).
  • Gabriel Picón González. Officer in the War of Independence. (June 23, 1975).
  • Judas Tadeo Piñango. Officer in the War of Independence. (December 16, 1942).
  • Simón Planas. Politician. (August 26, 1877).
  • José Ignacio Pulido del Pumar. Officer in the War of Independence. (January 15, 1881).
  • José Luis Ramos. Humanist, founder of the Literary journalism. (August 16, 1889).
  • Rafael Rangel. Scientist who studied tropical diseases. (August 20, 1977).
  • Luis Razetti. Doctor and surgeon. (June 23, 1982).
  • José Rafael Revenga. Lawyer. (December 22, 1969).
  • Pedro Rodríguez. (December 12, 1879).
  • Simón Rodríguez. Bolívar's teacher. (February 28, 1954).
  • Francisco Rodríguez del Toro. Officer in the War of Independence. (May 9, 1851)
  • Donato Rodríguez Silva. Military and politician of the Federal War. (April 22, 1897).
  • Arístides Rojas. Naturalist. (September 22, 1983).
  • Cristóbal Rojas. Painter. (December 27, 1958).
  • Pedro Manuel Rojas Mercado. Military leader of the Federal War. (August 10, 1876).
  • Juan José Rondón. Officer in the War of Independence. (August 25, 1896).
  • Bartolomé Salom. Officer in the War of Independence. (July 5, 1909).
  • Tomás José Sanabria y Meleán. Lawyer and politician. (January 1, 1896).
  • Luis Sanojo. Lawyer and politician. (June 22, 1978).
  • José Laurencio Silva. Officer in the War of Independence. (December 16, 1942).
  • Juan Antonio Sotillo. Officer in the War of Independence. (January 9, 1878).
  • Carlos Soublette. Officer in the War of Independence, President of Venezuela. (February 7, 1970).
  • Fermín Toro. Politician and diplomatic. (April 23, 1876).
  • Pedro León Torres. Officer in the War of Independence. (August 16, 1889).
  • Martín Tovar y Tovar. Painter. (September 22, 1983).
  • José Vicente de Unda. Priest. (December 16, 1942).
  • Diego Bautista Urbaneja Sturdy. Lawyer and colonel. (October 22, 1876).
  • Adolfo Urdaneta. Son of Rafael Urdaneta. (November 24, 1876)
  • Rafael Urdaneta. Officer in the War of Independence. (May 16, 1876).
  • Wenceslao Urrutia. Lawyer and politician. (April 20, 1876).
  • Juan Uslar. German-born and originally named Johan Von Usler, in 1819 he brought more than 300 soldiers to aid the Venezuelans in their fight for independence. (December 16, 1942).
  • José María Vargas. Doctor and surgeon, President of Venezuela. (April 27, 1877).
  • Miguel Antonio Vásquez. Officer in the War of Independence. (c. 1920).
  • José Joaquín Veroes. Colonel in the War of Independence. (December 16, 1942).
  • Francisco Javier Yánez. (1876).
  • José Ramón Yépez. Official of the Venezuelan Navy. (August 22, 1949).
  • Ezequiel Zamora. Military leader of the Federal War. (November 13, 1872)
  • Miguel Zárraga. Officer in the War of Independence. (May 10, 1876).


The following personalities in the preceding list are not buried in the Pantheon because their remains have not been found, but it has been decreed by the Venezuelan authorities they should be:



The following person is not buried in the Pantheon but an empty tomb is kept there, next to Simon Bolivar's in the hopes that his remains will return to his homeland:



Monuments

Bolívar´s Apotheosis by Tito Salas
Entrance of the National Pantheon
Central Nave
  • Monument to Simón Bolívar by Pietro Tenerani.
Right Nave
  • Monument to the First Republic by Hugo Daini.
  • Monument to José Gregorio Monagas by Julio Roversi.
  • Monumento to the Federation by Juan Bautista Sales Ferré.
Left Nave
  • Monument to José Antonio Páez by José Pizzo.
  • Monument to Rafael Urdaneta by Pietro Ceccarelli.
  • Monument to José María Vargas by Franco Bianchinni.
  • Monument to Santiago Mariño by Manuel de la Fuente.

Cenotaphs

  • Cenotaph in honor of Francisco de Miranda by Julio Roversi.
  • Cenotaph in honor to Antonio José de Sucre by Juan Bautista Sales Ferré.
  • Cenotaph in honor to Andrés Bello by Manuel de la Fuente.

Works of Tito Salas

  • Alegoría de la libertad de los esclavos.
  • Apoteosis del Libertador. (1942)
  • Bolívar en el Chimborazo.
  • Bolívar y Humboldt en París.
  • El ascenso al Cerro de Potosí el 26 de octubre de 1825.
  • El tiempo graba el nombre de Bolívar para la posteridad.
  • Entrada triunfal de Bolívar a Caracas después de la Batalla de Carabobo en 1821. (1935)
  • Escudo de Caracas. (1942)
  • Escudo de la familia Bolívar. (1942)
  • Escudo de Venezuela. (1942)
  • Fundación de Caracas. (1939)
  • Inspiración del istmo de Panamá.
  • Juramento de Bolívar en el monte Sacro.
  • La noche de Casacoima.
  • La Santísima Trinidad. (1933)
  • Traslado de los restos del Libertador de la Guaira a Caracas en 1842. (1934)
  • Unión, Unión.


See also

References

  1. Rarely Pantheum. This rare usage appears in Pliny's Natural History (XXXVI.38) in describing this edifice: Agrippae Pantheum decoravit Diogenes Atheniensis; in columnis templi eius Caryatides probantur inter pauca operum, sicut in fastigio posita signa, sed propter altitudinem loci minus celebrata.
  2. Panteón Nacional, Miriam Morillo, http://www.simon-bolivar.org/bolivar/panteon_nacional.html



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