Le Louvre is for me the best European museum of Antiquities.
Under Antiquities I mean here Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Near Eastern artefacts.
My preferred museums in Europe are the following:
Le Louvre, Paris.
British Museum, London.
Museumsinsel Berlin (Museum Island) with various museums like the Altes Museum, the Pergamon Museum and the Egyptian Museum
Greek and Roman antiquities:
Capitoline Museum and the two Museo Nazionale Romano (Palazzo Altemps and Palazzo Massimo), Rome.
National Archaeological Museum and Acropolis Museum, Athens.
Vatican Museum, Rome.
Museo Egizio (Egyptian museum), Turin.
And Egyptian departments of Le Louvre, British Museum and Berlin Island museum (one of the best in Europe).
Of course there are others like Vienna's KHM, Olympia, Leiden, Brussels, etc., etc. but if you have time to visit my favoured ones you will already feel a happy cultured traveller.
Many tourists travel to Paris to see the Tour Eiffel, Notre Dame, Le Moulin Rouge, Le Quartier Latin.
The first monument I visited in Paris in 1960 was Le Louvre and is the one I most returned to visit again and again in Paris.
That might sound odd as most of what you can see inside the museum is not French but originates from Egypt, Greece, Near Eastern, Italy, Belgium, Netherland and many other countries and even continents.
But aside the multiplicity and richness of the collections there is the architectural beauty outside and inside of the Palais du Louvre.
Le Louvre is a unique combination of excellence of architecture and content and that makes it my best favorite museum in the world.
Under "things to do" I wrote more than a dozen reviews about Le Louvre and what made me feel so enthusiast about works of art in the various departments. That's the difficulty with this museum; there are so many departments, so many works of great historical or artistic value on display that the task of the visitor is difficult. One can see the Tour Eiffel in half an hour, not Le Louvre.
That’s probably why I felt in love with Le Louvre, it's a challenge for life.
As I have seen Le Louvre in the early sixties well before the pyramid which dates from 1989 but also well before the huge renovation works outside and inside undergone by the Palais du Louvre I have been asked if I like the Pyramid or not.
For me the Pyramid is only a small part of the titanesque project called Grand Louvre which officially started in 1983 and aimed at transforming all the Palais du Louvre and the Tuileries in a grandiose museum increasing its surface from 57000 to 161000 m2. I'll just remember that till 1989 the Aile Richelieu was occupied by the Ministry of Finances!
My favorite is this huge renovation work of the Palais du Louvre of which the Pyramid from Ming Pei was the only controversial part. For me it is a detail compared to what is on display inside the museum.
Presently I'm used to it standing in the main courtyard called Cour Napoléon. If I want to see what it looked before I go and look at the Cour Carrée in the back.
The problem with the Pyramid, now 20 years old, is that it can not handle the enormous number of visitors. It was conceived for 4 millions visitors/year and there were 8.5 million in 2010.
That’s why "in things to do" I recommend the other entries.
There is now a "Projet Pyramide" aiming, after modifications, to increase the capacity at 10 million visitors.
Apparently there can be large quese at the ticket booth at the Louvre.
To jump the queue in front of the pyramid or at the ticket offices, all you need to do is buy your ticket in advance.
Tickets sold in advance are not available at the Louvre.
The entrance ticket to the museum is valid for an unlimited period of time.
You can buy your tickets in advance:
in Fnac, Virgin Megastore, Le Printemps, Les Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marchý, BHV, Carrefour, Continent, Auchan, Extrapole, Hyper-Media.
You can also get them via the internet at http://www.ticketweb.com/user/?region=europe&query=schedule&venue=louvre for visitors from USA and Canada.
http://www.ticketnet.fr/shop/fr/resultat.asp?recherche=mots&mots=mus%E9e%2Bdu%2Blouvre&idtier=138989 for visitors from other countries.
You can also call
Fnac : 0 892 684 694 (0,34 euros per min.) ; from abroad, please dial :
00 33 1 41 57 32 28
Ticketnet : 0 892 697 073 (0,34 euros per min.) ; from abroad, please dial :
00 33 1 46 91 57 57
Please refer to my other tips for package deals on tickets.
A good place to begin your visit to Paris is at one of their Visitor Centers. The two most convenient are located at the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, but there are 4 others throughout the city. Check out:
Look to the bottom left of the page for "Getting Around",
click Map of Paris, then you will see a map of Paris, look under the map to the right, it will say
"come see us in our information centers", click on that,
and you'll get a location map, list and address of every visitor center in the city. Amoung other things, you can purchase museum passes which can come in very handy.
Favorite thing: The alternate entrance to the Louvre is via the Caroussel du Louvre on rue de Rivoli. You pass through glass doors and down the stairs. The museum entrance is there as well as the shops of the Caroussel du Louvre. Also there are check-in desks for your coats and baggage.
It's here that building a page on trips done decades ago becomes weird...
Not that many memories of monuments... I sure had visited Sacré Coeur, Arc de Triomphe, Tour Eiffel and very probably Panthéon, but memories are rather blurry. Well, learning about French history, for a kid of 10, who is not even French, was not that easy...
Tour Eiffel, I remembered that seeing it from outside didn't impress me. It was huge yes but I didn't know its history. Plus, because my Mum was once given a mini- Tour Eiffel as a gift and that used to have it in her studyroom for years, it was not new to me. I loved strolling on Trocadero instead, watching skaters. In the contrary, the ride to the top of Tour Eiffel was something too... Would talk about that later.
Fondest memory: Museums interested me instead, statues in parks and gardens as well. Musée Grévin, Musée du Louvre and Jardins des Tuileries.
I discovered them when my aunt took me with her then bf for a day. They brought me to see museums.
Musée Grévin.. funny for kids of 10.
My memory of Louvre? I heard for the first time in my life the word "philtre" as in "philtre d'amour" (love potion). My aunt brought me to an exhibition. Seems like I learnt something. My then-to-be-uncle was very patient, explaining me lots of things. Then, there was this word I read on a plaque: "...philtre d'amour...". I thought it was an error or a typo. I knew "filtre" (: filter) but it didn't have anything to do with "amour" at all. LoL Again, I carefully read the text, imagining tons of meanings but couldn't seize the right one. Then, I asked my uncle about the "philtre d'amour"... I learnt by then that women had used to use love potions to "trap" guys. From then, my vision of love was altered a bit... In fact, I became aware of the lost innocence in adult conception of love. How could one trap the person one uses to love ? That was weird for me... Also, the notion of "capturing", "possessing", "having a grip on someone" was instilled. Yes, we always learn... lol
Ooh! I didn't even know then about the witchery behind the use and the making of love potions. The lost innocence was enough to intringue and upset the little girl in me.
Sorry sir , i cant resist butto take a picture of ya !
Well going to Louvre is about enjoying the work of art , but if you dont plan properly ..this will probably happen to you - sleeping inside Louvre or you will leave with the Stendhal syndrome - a term used for confused or rather bewildered tourist because of too much artistic stuff occupying their brain .
So do like keny does and you will leave Louvre with a smile on your face !
We tend to focus on the Pei pyramid and the contents of the Louvre, but don't miss the details of the building itself!
It was built between 1546 and 1878 and spent its first 200 years as a royal palace. It was turned into a museum in 1793 after the French Revolution. You can see the various periods in its architecture.
I think this is the better place for individual pictures, so from now on this is where Louvre and Musee d' Orsay commentary on art will be.
These 2 pictures done by Noel Coypel represent Apollo being crowned on the left by Victory and on the right by Minerva done in 1667-1668. I couldn't really find out exactly why Apollo was being crowned, but as usual found some interesting facts about Apollo that I will share here.
Apollo has been recognized as a god of many dominions among them: a god of light and the sun; truth and prophecy; archery; medicine and healing; music, poetry, and the arts. He was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague as well as one who had the ability to cure. So maybe he was receiving the victory laurels for just being able to multi-task.
Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, Artemis. Ah, there's my connection with Apollo, my wife and I have boy, girl twins.
One of Apollo's more important daily tasks was to harness his chariot with four horses and drive the Sun across the sky. And I thought I had a long commute.
One story about Apollo and the Laurel Wreath of Victory goes like this. "Apollo slew the python, competed musically with another god, Pan, and insulted still another god, the god of love (Eros/Amor/Cupid). As a result of the last, Apollo was fated to a disastrous and unrequited love. The object of his love metamorphosed into a laurel tree to avoid him. Leaves from the laurel tree were thereafter used to crown victors at the Pythian games." Wow, modern day psychiatrist would have a field day with that.
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