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Louvre Museum

The Louvre
This former royal palace is one of the largest museums in the world, and its art collection is considered one of the most comprehensive. It contains around 400,000 works, although—mercifully, perhaps—not all are on display at any one time. There are some pieces that never get taken off the walls. The Mona Lisa and her smile attract millions of visitors each year. Other must-see masterpieces include the sculptures Winged Victory of Samothrace and Michelangelo's Rebellious Slave, and the Eugène Delacroix painting The Death of Sardanapalus.

There's no real trick to avoiding crowds at the always-packed museum. The best you can do is try to go in the off-season, early or late in the day, and on a weekday. Your chances of being alone with the Mona Lisa will still be slim to none, but you might be able to actually see that enigmatic smile behind the Plexiglas.

A Unique Way to Explore the Louvre
The Louvre is at once spectacular and intimidating, and for art novices, the sheer size of its collection may even prove anxiety-inducing. To avoid shuffling through each corridor aimlessly, it's wise to visit armed with an itinerary, or even a guide, to create a tour according to what you'd most like to see. Thanks to one New York expat, there's now a third option. Daisy de Plume (yes, a pseudonym!), art fanatic and entrepreneur, launched THATLou (Treasure Hunt at the Louvre) as a way to give purpose to touring the museum (and make it fun!). She runs a hunt open to the general public on the first Sunday of each month and several thematic hunts throughout the month. Beyond its value as a unique way to explore pieces of history, THATLou is a great way to meet new people. Note: some tours are bilingual, others are all in French. Consult the "Menu of Hunts" for more information.
A Unique Way to Explore the Louvre

A Mecca for Art Aficionados
The Louvre Museum is quite the Mecca for art aficionados. The architecture is an engineering genius and it’s no surprise that it’s regarded as one of the finest art museums in the world. The outside façade is buttressed by slanted glass pyramids that enclose the entrance area. There is a small shopping arcade located in the lobby of the museum for all the shopping addicts. Afterall, you’re in Paris, and it almost would be blasphemy not to indulge in retail therapy. I think the best times to go are either early in the morning or late afternoon, otherwise you’re bound to get frustrated standing in mile-long lines. The museum is a never-ending labyrinth with thousands of art collections, paintings, sculptures from all time periods and varying art genres. The scope of collection is impressive, yet daunting. Some of the highlights are the enigmatic Mona Lisa masterpiece and the Venus of Milo. It’s hard to say how long one might need to absorb the beauty of all the artwork, as everyone takes it in at different paces. Even after a total of 26 vists, I still maintain that you will always find something new and riveting every time you visit. One thing for sure is that there is no off-peak season for this architectural marvel; it is teeming with hordes of inquisitive tourists and locals at any time of the year.
A Mecca for Art Aficionados

Iconic Museums
The Louvre is the world’s largest museum and Europe’s largest palace, with Imperial apartments, Islamic and Egyptian wings and the best of European art. Home to Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, it faces the d’Orsay Museum; an elegantly converted turn-of-the-century train station where Degas’ ballerina stands surrounded by masterpieces from 1848-1914. Nearby, Monet designed bright, round-walled rooms to show off his Waterlilies at the Orangerie. The manicured, floral gardens of the Rodin Museum are the ideal spot to get out of museums while sitting near The Thinker or The Gates of Hell. The nation’s collection of Modern Art is exhibited at the Centre Pompidou with its unforgettable escalators that gradually reveal views of the rooftops of Paris.

THE Paris Museum
Of course, no visit to Paris is complete without a visit to the Louvre, Paris' premier art gallery on the Right Bank in the 1st Arrondissement on the Rue de Rivoli. The history of France is displayed before you in every salon or hallway. The museum, a former royal palace, first opened as a museum in 1793 after the French Revolution. The museum opened with about 600 paintings. Today, there are about 30,000 works of art on display. Entrance tickets are about 11 Euros or you enter for free with the Paris Pass. At the desk, pick up the diagram and floor plan to guide you through the Louvre since it is a huge building . When I arrived at the Louvre, where did I go? Naturally, to see Venus de Milo and I waited on line (surprisingly short) to view the famed Mona Lisa (Leonardo da Vinci). She is smaller than you would think but I felt fortunate to see such a valuable and famous piece of art. Both art works were impressive. I was drinking in the history and beauty and I had to see the Louvre. To say I was awed would be an accurate description of my feelings but I had saved the best for last... The Musee d'Orsay was my favorite. The Gare d'Orsay was set to be razed in 1970, when the decision was made to save it for a museum venue. The d'Orsay is the museum of the French Impressionists. Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas. I walked from one salon to the next spending over two quiet hours surrounded by beauty. Two more sites in Paris you need to visit. Info: www.louvre.fr/en

Catch a Historic Sunset
Paris is rife with some of the most magnificent spots to watch the sun dip behind the horizon and recently, I discovered that one of the most awe-inspiring among them was at the world's most visited museum. Watch as the Louvre, inside and out, is suffused with golden light and illuminates I.M Pei's glass pyramid.
Catch a Historic Sunset

Winged Victory of Samothrace
One of my favorite places in the Louvre is standing in front of the Winged Victory of Samothrace. The beauty and fluidity of this ancient Greek sculpture is mesmerizing. Plan to go sooner...or later: in September 2013 it will undergo a restoration that will see it disappear from the museum until the Spring of 2014.

Louvre, Paris
One day or 15 are not enough to see all the art inside the Louvre but go anyway. Admire the beauty of the sculptures and paintings inside. Always wanted to see the Mona Lisa and Venus di Milo? Louvre will give you that chance.
Louvre, Paris

Strike a pose
In the Louvre my wife was standing near this antique work of art and I suggested she pose near it, a top moment of our trip.

The Mummy
Three thousand years later it is difficult to grasp the care and knowledge our ancestors possessed. The detailed wrappings of this mummy become more than history they become art works that cross many generations. Testimony to their enuring talents, featured in the Louvre Egyptian galleries,

Mona lisa, Louvre-Paris
Traveling around the world a perceived highlight for many is the Mona Lisa. For me a disappointment due to the crowds, her small size (I thought she was painted larger) and being so tired. I walked into her gallery saw the huge crowd and took this one photo and left. My wife asked me if I wanted to go back later but I looked at this photo and thought it captured more than the Mona Lisa as it had the feeling of the museum as well.

The Louvre-Are We There Yet?
I never imagined I would one day ride a bicycle through the streets of any city, let alone Paris. While Paul and I are very skilled at reading maps and figuring out just where we are and where we need to be, I have to admit, I wasn’t quite confident in our abilities to maneuver bicycles through a busy French city. In the end, the experience was unforgettable (on many levels) and is worth retelling over and over again. Thanks to the Fat Tire Bicycle Tour, Paul and I met a group of other adventurous travelers at the base of the Eiffel Tower for the beginning of an all day and all night two-wheel excursion through the streets of Paris. After walking several blocks to the “shop” to pick up our cruisers and trendy lime green traffic vests, we made our mass exitus onto the streets, ready to take it all in. Paul took this photo of the Louvre during our tour! Amazing!

It would be easy to exhaust yourself in Paris with day time activities but save yourself at least one night for a night stroll around the most beautfiul of cities - the City of Light. Of course the Eiffel Tower is a must but don't miss the Louvre with the incredible jewel of Pei's pyramid lit from below. It is magical- but so are the nightime lights along the river near La Monnaie whose dome dominates the left bank at that point. Stroll a bit further and you get to see Notre Dame - go all the way past the cathedral to the back. At night the flying buttresses that support the cathedral are a dramatic photo opportunity. You can sleep when you get home. Make a memory for life with a nightime walk on an evening in Paris.

The Louvre
Entrance to the Louvre, weekend break while working in London.
The Louvre

Wing It On Over to the Louvre
The new Islamic wing at the Louvre is not to be missed. Much of this collection has been in storage since the 1930s and is on view for the first time. Of special note, the fully-restored late Roman era mosaic pavements, displayed on the floor as they were meant to be seen. This is a detail showing Personification of the Wind, lifted by archaeologists in 1882 from the Church of St. Christopher, Qabr Hiram, Lebanon, dated 575 AD. We arrived late in the day and there was a long line to enter, yet it moved smoothy and we were able to enjoy the new wing for the last two hours before closing. Totally worth the 11 euro entry. The Islamic Dept. is found in the Denon Wing. The Louvre is closed Tuesday, so plan accordingly.
Wing It On Over to the Louvre

The Louvre at night
Most tourist visit the Louvre in the daytime, often with the mission of seeing the Mona Lisa. An even bigger treat to wander around the museum's exterior at night when I.M. Pei's glass pyramids are illuminated.
The Louvre at night

The Louvre

Lights of the Louvre
I took an awesome night time photography class with a Discover Paris. It was a small class(only 3 people) and our local, professional photographer spent 2.5 hours with us shooting night time lights at the Louvre. Our goal was to capture it in a unique way.

picture perfect Paris
I was waiting in line at the cafe on the upper deck of the Louvre and saw this wonderful view. Where else could I have gone to get this shot!

The Louvre
Drawing at the Louvre
The Louvre

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss
When I think of the Musée du Louvre, I think of Antonio Canova’s (1757-1822) marble statue Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss. His inspiration came from Latin author Apuleius in the Metamorphoses. It was our fourth day in Paris, my mother, brother and I were weary from hours of walking each day. As I set my sight onto this statue, my senses of wonder awoke. I had forgotten that I was fatigue. I was beholding a brilliant and creative human mind with wings and it took my mind to soaring heights. An epiphany arose within me; I wanted to live a life exploring the realm of curiosities and creativity. There’d be consequences, but one shouldn’t be afraid what’s in one’s soul. You should plan for four days at the Louvre to really absorb the treasures in this grand museum. If you travel to stimulate your intellectual and emotional awakening, you’d fall in love with this place. You might find something that you’d take away with you for life, and I’m not talking about a souvenir.
Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss

A Rare Quiet Moment at the Louvre
On an early morning jog in the City of Light I opted for Place de la Concorde and the Jardin des Tuileries instead of my first instinct, which was to follow the Seine. My reward was ending up toute seule in front of the Louvre at a rare moment of calm before the city's most famous museum opens and the square is flooded with visitors. Ahh Paris - this will always be a city that prompts the question, why don't I live here?!

Three Graces plus one
The Louvre is a must on anyones plans for Paris. I never have enough time to see all that I want. It's a good excuse to keep going back.

The hidden treasures
While exploring the Louvre one day, I came upon this tidy little work area. All tucked away, it was like finding a hidden stash of treasures.

Paris At Night
Having seen many photos of the Pyramids du Louvre at night, I wanted one of my own to share. On my way to dinner last month, I made it a point to visit; I'm glad I did.

A Quiet Winter Morning at The Louvre
One good thing about winter in Paris - less crowds; this is The Louvre at about 9am one quiet winter weekday. Lovely morning sky, and no wait to get in!

A Moment's Dance
Let's begin with humility, perhaps a kind of sadness. I am not the only person in the courtyard at the Louvre this morning with a camera. Cell phone cameras. Professional rigs. Everyone else looks like they know what they are doing. Everyone else has already taken the picture I think I want to take, though I don’t know what that picture is. The building is overwhelming. Even though the day is cloudy, spitting rain, and the light is flat, I do know that flat light is often good. The problem is that every shot has been taken, every angle by now a cliché. A young woman climbs on top of a box, the pyramids and the old building her backdrop. She has an umbrella and an innocent smile. Her family laughs as they snap away—portraits for the album back in some other place. London, perhaps. Maybe Romania. It really doesn’t matter. I do not know this girl. She will never know I took this picture. The couple walking behind her, their boredom as much a part of the image as the girl's lilt, will never know as well. But I owe each of them my thanks. This is the image I now carry in my head. The old building. The edge of a glass pyramid. The people walking, all of them disparate, and the dance of what it’s like to be very young and in Paris, at the Louvre. This, I think, is the shot I want. It is not an extraordinary photograph. But here, I think, is the moment we all treasure. A small, personal, dance. Not humility, I think. Grace.

Admire the Louvre
While tourists flock to the Louvre to sneak a glimpse at the Mona Lisa, we prefer to stay outside the museum and bask in the beauty of the Louvre Palace. Set below the blue skies of Paris, this building is a stunning work of art. Step outside the crowds and capture this structure's remarkable elegance. At night, watch the lights transform this historic landmark into a majestic masterpiece.

Mecca for Literature Lovers in the Louvre
Two minutes after I took the obligatory selfie with the Mona Lisa—and ready for lunch—I was focused on sneaking in between people through the halls when a painting of a couple in an embrace stopped me in my hurried tracks. "Come here," I told my boyfriend. "This reminds me of Paolo and Francesca in the fifth canto of Dante's Inferno." As I got closer, I saw two figures staring at the couple. One of them was in red, making it obvious two me that they represented Dante and Virgil, and that the painting was, in fact, a portrayal of the scene from the Divine Comedy. The 77th room of the Denon wing of the first floor of the Louvre made me forget my hunger (not an easy feat) and be newly inspired by the magic of stories in both paintings and books.

Can't say enough about the sunset or the Louvre
If you have very little time to visit Paris, make a stop into the Louvre and you must see a at least these 2 items, The Mona Lisa and Victoire De Samothrace (Winged Victory). The Louvre has an amazing collection of paintings. Tons of paintings, it is a great place to wander through.

2 items to see at least . . .
When you go to the Louvre, you have to see the Mona Lisa and Victoire de Samothrace then after that you can wander the galleries and gaze at the voluminous collection of paintings that is housed by the Louvre. Truly amazing collection!

How I visit . . .
Seeing all of what the Lourve has to offer is impossible . . . typically, I'll try to go every morning while in Paris, leave when I'm hungry for lunch, and then return the next morning to see another piece of the museum . . . until I leave for lunch. Repeat as often as necessarily, or as time permits.


It was Francis I, a great patron of the arts, who built the Louvre Palace on the site of an old fortress and acquired the Mona Lisa; the Louvre was a royal residence for more than two centuries before French revolutionaries turned it into a public museum. Today it displays 35,000 works of art—too many to see in one visit. Wander aimlessly, choose a wing or sign up for a 90-minute guided tour of the highlights at the desk under the pyramid. Closed Tuesdays.

The Louvre
The Louvre is no small feat, but a necessary one during a visit to Paris. There is an abundance of advice online on how to visit The Louvre but above all, it is preparation. I went straight to the source, The Louvre website, to get an idea of the layout, choose between an audio guide or tour guide, and narrow down must-see pieces, etc. We entered through the Pyramid entrance and waited for 15 minutes to get in. Seeing the Mona Lisa was top of my list but the work that left a lasting effect on me: DELACROIX's July 28. Liberty Leading the People

The Louvre at night - Paris
As much as the Louvre looks great in the day time, shine or rain, it looks amazing at night as well - when all the lights are up, the fountain reflects the lights, and the pyramid looks crystal clear.

Paris en Février (Paris in February)
This was part of my first trip to Europe (London and Paris) in 1996. Karen and I decided to take advantage of extremely inexpensive airfares during the off-season. It felt like we had the Louvre all to ourselves. And there's nothing like simple and warm crêpes beurre-sucre bought from street vendor on a chilly day.

Metro Sign - Paris
As the sun began its decent behind the Eiffel Tower, the Paris sky turned shades of pastels: blue, pink, peach. I was walking around somewhere on the Right Bank not far from the Lourve, camera in hand. This is the best way to truly see Paris; just take a walk and wander. I noticed the lights beginning to come on. This Metro sign, all lit up with the pastel colors of the evening sky is one of my favorite images of Paris.

Paris on a Whim
I booked a Thalys train ticket on a whim (super expensive, but worth it for all the adrenaline it caused) for an overnight, two full day trip. I wandered about the city on my own to my own accord. As I stepped out of Gare du Nord and into the metro waiting area, I was approached by an elderly couple asking for directions. I knew then, that I was a traveler, not a tourist. Of course I did all of the quintessential things throughout the beautiful city and I am proud that I did it all for me as well as used my four months of French language skills that I had been learning in Brussels, Belgium. I loved eating fresh baguette and goat cheese on the Champs-Elysees roundabout and watching the cars whoosh past. Paris has a pulse and I felt mine beating with it the whole time.

Go easy
Relax. Unless you must turn in a doctoral thesis on Renaissance arts tomorrow morning don't try to see everything at once. Rather, go straight to three great ladies - the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Venus of Milo. After that stroll by other previously selected galleries - that's really important: you must have a plan of what, why and when to see something in the Louvre. Yes, the Egyptian collection is astounding, and so are all the others.

Conquering the Louvre
Crowds can get crazy at the Pyramid entrance of the Louvre. Avoid the masses and purchase tickets in advance online or from any FNAC store. You can also buy tickets from the Le Carrousel, an underground mall, connected to metro stop ‘Palais Royale-Musee du Louvre’ on line 1 and 7 or accessed from the Rue de Rivoli. If this is your virst visit, start with the museum’s “Masterpieces Visitor Trail” to see major oeuvres like the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory. Avoid museum fatigue and choose only one other exhibit to tour.

Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
+33 1 40 20 50 50
Thur, Sat - Mon 9am - 6pm
Wed, Fri 9am - 10pm