The Musée du Louvre or The Louvre Museum in Paris is one of the world’s largest art museums, occupying about 652,300 square feet of total floor space spanning 6 full connected buildings. It is also the most visited art museum in the world and a French historic monument. The museum officially opened in 1793 after a conversion from a palace (Louvre Palace) in the late 12th century.
The central courtyard is home to the iconic Louvre pyramid, which is essentially a modern glass pyramid offering access to the museum. It’s also where most of the guest services and ticketing counters for museum entry are located. Long queues here are the norm, even on weekdays as this place is essentially a tourist hot spot with people from all over the world coming in daily. The queues here even go on till mid day, so it pays to be prepared or know alittle tricks here or two.
You can either pre-purchase your tickets, but that won’t allow you to beat the regulation queue to even enter. Alternatively, you can do what I do- don’t not enter the museum from the center pyramid. There is a second entrance just across the road by the western gardens. Just look for a two stones lion by the western court entrance. There is actually a ticketing booth to your left behind the lions and usually no queues there. In contrast to the snake long queues by the Louvre main entrance, you will be in the museum in just under 5 minutes through there.
Exploring the museum is a whole day affair, or at least half a day if are there since opening. The museum comprises mainly of eight curatorial departments each with a collection of paintings, murals and sculptures just to name a few. Some of the includes the Near Eastern Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities to Egyptian Antiquities. Iconic ones will include the museum’s mostly popular item- Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, though I think the display it’s really over-hyped not to mention super packed all day- there are so many other paintings of more historical significance displayed here, but doesn’t catches the key of the layman.
Hilariously, the queues are still snaking outside the Louvre at midday, which made us snicker whenever we see all the people outside desperate to get, evil us. There was an interesting section of the Medieval Louvre- some leftovers of the old palace still remaining and completely underground. It’s surprising to see that this was part of the palace in the late 12th century.
Despite most of the art here being European, there are miscellaneous displays such as jewelery, silverware as well as Islamic Art; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings. The Egyptian section is decked with large stone tombs and mummies, including that of ancient mummified animals and pets a very interesting find indeed.
The sculpture gallery here is fantastic, there are several long hallways and courtyards decked with them. Most of the iconic sculptures here in particular are the early Greek and roman statues. For such sculptures, there is never a problem with too much skin to bear. Iconic ones will include the Venus de Milo Gallery featuring Aphrodite Venus as well as Athena, aka Pallas of Velletri as well as the Michaelangelo gallery with the slaves and Antonio Canova’s Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss.
The courtyard areas of the museum are huge, the museum’s huge sculpture pavilion is no exception either. This large area forms part of the sculpture courtyard complete with a huge skylight to boot. The museum here blends well modern glass building finishings with that of the architecture native to the French Renaissance style.
The Louvre has few in-house cafes and restaurants, but be prepared to play exorbitant prices and yet dine with huge crowds, let be queue ages to enter as they will always packed, so it pays to bring some packed food or find lunch out of the museum, what’s more you can see more of the city and neighborhood this way, which is exactly what I will cover next.
- The city of Paris at Christmas (Album: Paris City Photos)
- The Louvre museum (Album: The Louvre gallery)
- Paris Eiffel, Notre Dame & Sainte Chapelle (Album: Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle)
- Disneyland Paris (Album: Paris Disneyland Resort)
- Paris Disneyland Hollywood Studios (Album: Paris Hollywood Studios)