☆ Musée du Louvre – Outside ☆
The Louvre is an amazing building.. It immediately commands your attention with all of its details, size, and splendor.. There are several statues placed throughout the exterior of the building..
These are works of art on their own, and they just beg you to come inside to see the real collection..
The building is from the 12th century and was a fortress for centuries.. Eventually the other city dwellings surrounded the structure and Louis XIV made it his palace home..
It first became a museum for the public in 1793, but not much was available back then..
Over the years, the collections increased and Napoleon made an effort to bring this to the splendor it is today..
It has 35,000 art pieces, thousands of sculptures, and thousands more of Greek, Roman, Etruscan period artifacts..
It is a place where you could literally spend maybe a week to see it all and take in the detail, but how would you remember where you started??
If you find yourself with an unplanned evening and legs that have a bit more walk in them, take a chance on the Louvre at night..
There isn’t anything “special” happening but there are many special moments that may happen..
Then there’s the pyramid..
That amazing, controversial pyramid.. I love it!!
Of course, I’m an Egypt fanatic, so anything resembling Egyptian concepts or art, I’m all over it..
The pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre..
Commissioned by the late French president, François Mitterand, la Pyramide du Louvre was completed in 1989 with much controversy..
Its symbolic construction was in part to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution..
The modern glass structure was designed by the Chinese American architect Ieoh Ming Pei in the heart of the courtyard of the Louvre (Cour Napoléon), along the symbolic Axis leading through to l’Arc de Triomphe..
The pyramid is surrounded by a few smaller ones and an inverted pyramid, all of which crown the underground expansion of the Louvre that was completed at the same time..
Leading up to its construction, France was divided on the issue.. Many saw the modern construction as shockingly offensive and an insult to the high French architecture of the Louvre.. Others believed it was a way into the future and pointed to the fact that much the same division occurred upon the construction of the Eiffel Tower a century earlier.. The latter won the battle and today, la Pyramide du Louvre is deemed a success by nearly everyone..
It is a truly remarkable structure, particularly at night when, through clever lighting, it glows amid the shining architecture of the Louvre..
To see everything that the Louvre has to offer is practically impossible.. To make the most of your time at the Louvre, plan your route ahead of time.. Pick a genre or two, and/or a particular medium, and focus on that.. Give yourself at least half a day at the Louvre.. It is well worth it.. If you just want to see the big tourist attractions such as the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Victory of Samothrace, etc., you can make it through pretty quickly–give yourself 1-2 hours tops.. But, you will miss some other amazing pieces..
Another highlight from Paris trip is stopping at a wine shop, picking a random bottle of red and asking the shopkeeper to open the bottle before left.. then wandering over to the Louvre courtyard.. With the Pyramid alight and a cool breeze in the air.. It’s nice, easy way to spend the evening and some real quality time with one another..
I guess the moral is to not overprogram yourself or your trip.. There are many things to see and do… but you can always return!! Take some time to be slow.. and drink it in..
Main entrance via the pyramid (1st).
M° Palais-Royal – Musée-du-Louvre.
Tel: 01 40 20 50 50.
Daily: 9am-6pm, except Tue and some public holidays. Wed and Fri: late opening until 10pm.
€9 (from 1 July) – RR: €6 after 6pm. Under 18s, Under 26s (Fri late opening) and 1st Sun of the month: free.
Napoléon hall exhibitions: €9.50 depending on the exhibition.