The library Sainte-Geneviève is located at the Pantheon, in the 5th arrondissement of the capital.
The establishment built in 1851 is the heir to the library of the Abbey of St. Genevieve founded in the Middle Ages on the bases of a basilica erected on behalf of King Clovis in the sixth century and in which he was buried with his wife and Saint Genevieve, the "patron saint" of Parisians.
From the medieval abbey, there remains a 14th century bell tower still visible in the high school Henri IV. The high school was indeed built in the old premises of the abbey, the library occupying the top floor.
The remarkable collections collected since the Middle Ages are then sheltered for some time in a part of the Hôtel de Montaigu, pending the construction of a new building designed by the architect Henri Labrouste, the building site ending in 1851.
While the period favors the neoclassical style, the library has a neo-Gothic, rectangular shape and includes spaces for conservation and reading able to house then 500 students and 80 000 books on three levels.
Outside, a band is surmounted by windows under which are engraved the names of 810 authors. Also note that the architect has imagined a bold metal structure with some details are visible between the windows, which can be understood as a sign of modernity.
During the twentieth century, a building for storage was attached to the staircase in 1954 and a second extension connected to the first by a footbridge was added in 1961. Accessible from the rue Valette, it houses the "Nordic library".
Classified as a Historic Monument, the library now retains 2 million books and documents covering all disciplines. It is an inter-university state institution open to all publics.
Free and free visits are possible from Monday to Saturday from 14h to 18h. They make it possible to discover the entrance vestibule decorated with frescos, the staircase of honor, the cabinet of curiosities and the reading room of the Reserve.
Guided tours free but more complete are available by reservation only on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 10am.
Information on +33 1 44 41 97 71 or +33 1 44 41 97 72.