Sainte-Geneviève Library

Paris, France

Sainte-Geneviève Library

Sainte-Geneviève Library (French: Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève) is a public and university library located at 10, place du Panthéon, across the square from the Panthéon, in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. It is based on the collection of the Abbey of St Genevieve, which was founded in the 6th century by Clovis I, the King of the Franks. The collection of the library was saved from destruction during the French Revolution. A new reading room for the library, with an innovative iron frame supporting the roof, was built between 1838 and 1851 by architect Henri Labrouste. The library contains around 2 million documents, and currently is the principal inter-university library for the different branches of University of Paris, and is also open to the public.

The Abbey of St Genevieve is said to have been founded by King Clovis I and his queen, Clotilde. It was located near the present church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont and the present Panthéon, which was built atop the original abbey church. The abbey was said to have been founded at the beginning of the 6th century at the suggestion of Saint Genevieve, who selected the site, across from the original Roman forum. She died in 502 and Clovis died in 511, and the basilica was completed in 520. It held the tombs Saint Genevieve, Clovis, and his descendants.

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