The Louvre Museum

Ok, I know it’s taking forever to complete posts about my recent (not so anymore by now) Paris and Rome trip.  Kids first right?  We’ve been swamped with activities this summer so I just get to write during “free time”.

I’ve told you about my journey getting to Paris (meaning how I got there and getting around on day 1—as they say, half the fun is the journey…so true!).  Now, I’ll show you some sites we saw.  Let’s start out with this lovely Museum, The Louvre.

Some Basic information about this museum:

The Musée du Louvre (French pronunciation: ​[myze dy luvʁ])—in English, the Louvre Museum or simply The Louvre—is one of the world’s largest museums, and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, France, it is located on theRight Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (district). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st  century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet). With more than 8 million visitors each year, the Louvre is the world’s most visited museum.[5]

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which began as a fortress built in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of antique sculpture.[6] In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years.[7]During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the nation’s masterpieces. (source: wikipedia)

Louvre Museum today : It is the most visited museum in the world … It is wise to come in the early morning if you intend to visit it to avoid queuing for hours. Good to know : The first Sunday of each month the place is free of access (No ticket to pay). Here are the main masterpieces to be admired : Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, Leonardo da Vinci, Saint Joseph charpentier, Georges de la Tour, The pilgrims of Emmaus, Rembrandt, Liberty Leading the People, Eugène Delacroix … In March 2007, the museum announced that another Louvre would be completed by 2012 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The thirty-year agreement will prompt the construction downtown Abu Dhabi in exchange for $1.3 billion USD. (source: http://www.paris-pictures.com/louvre-museum-history.htm)

The museum is open every day except Tuesday and the following French holidays: January 1, May 1 and December 25.

Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Friday: from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Closed on Tuesdays
Rooms begin closing 30 minutes before museum closing time.

To know more about ticket prices and details about the museum check their website.   http://www.louvre.fr/en/hours-admission/admission#tabs

First off, our experience getting there!   We took the metro and relied on our tourist map 🙂  We were trying to veer away from “looking like a tourist” but we just couldn’t resist looking at our map.  And nothing says tourist more than a person holding a huge map on the street.

once we got off the metro
Once we got off the metro, we climbed up these stairs and thought: Yaaay! we’re here!!! (We weren’t! we were 2 loooong blocks away)
We weren't!
I just cracked up when he pointed across the street.  It was this huge building on an entire block that no one could ever miss.  Felt so stupid again!  But what fun is it without these bloopers!?! I had a strong feeling there were more of these coming in our 7 day trip 🙂

I had a map on my iPhone but she preferred to hold that huge map. Imagine a woman holding a map on the street, looking up and turning around like 5x!  How to make things worse? 3 more women following her!

We were looking for the famous glass pyramids of the Louvre.  But of course we couldn’t find it coz turns out, we were on the other side of the Museum.

We decided not to take any guided tours so we could take our sweet time and play it by ear.  If we din’t like the place, we could just leave.  Or if we wanted to stay longer, we could.  But getting lost or thinking it would be difficult finding places was never in the equation.

entrance
Side Entrance.  This hallway would lead you to where the glass pyramids are.
and here it is1
Here’s the big one…
And the smaller one.
And the smaller one.
After taking pictures outside, we now enter the museum.
After taking pictures outside, we started our art appreciation inside.  Entrance of museum, you’ll need to go through security.
Pass through here to get to the lobby.
Pass through here to get to the lobby.

We had Paris Passes so we din’t need to line up to buy tickets which would be such a waste of time.  I suggest you get a Paris Pass if you plan to visit several museums and attractions.  I’ll show you what a Paris Pass looks like in another post.

Lobby
Main lobby.  Each direction brings you to different wings where different forms of art are located.  Just choose one and work your way around it.  This place is humungous!  If you really want to see the entire museum, you’ll need to spend 2 days here. 
My main purpose here was to see the Mona Lisa.
There are areas full of sculptures.
My main purpose here was to see the Mona Lisa.
My main purpose here was to see the Mona Lisa.  But before you get there, you’ll pass through long hallways, stairs, and rooms.
closer view
Some sculptures I saw along the way.
on top of the stairs
On top of the stairs you’ll find this:  Winged Victory of Samothrace
hallway I had to pass
Another hallway I had to pass with lovely paintings.
sd
Not yet there…you’ll need to enter this room, but it was okay, coz the ceiling was so pretty!
ceiling art
This pretty!  
Here's a view for you to better appreciate it.  Seeing it as a whole.
Here’s a view to see how high these ceilings are.
more ceiling art.
More ceiling art.
Touring this building is no joke.  You'll need to rest a bit or else your feet are gonna kill you.
Touring this building is no joke. You’ll need to rest a bit or else your feet are gonna kill you.  You’ll see several couches scattered within the museum.
Then you'll need to pass another long hallway to get to Mona Lisa.
Once you get out of the room,  you’ll need to pass another long hallway to get to the famous Mona Lisa.  By this time, my excitement to see the painting grew even more.  Check out the couple on the couch being too romantic..cliche much?? 🙂  I’m sure they were saying, Who cares? We’re in Paris!
Here it is!
Here’s the Mona Lisa!  Yes, it’s that tiny painting on the wall.  It’s the only painting on that big flat wall.

One of the first biographies of Leonardo states that it was painted for Francesco del Giocondo and is the portrait of his wife, Mona Lisa, whose maiden name was Gherardini. The birth of their third child in 1502 and the acquisition of a house would have been ideal pretexts for commissioning the portrait.

Mona Lisa is wearing a very dark, severe dress with a pleated bodice, embroidered with interlacing forms in gold. The dress’s low neckline exposes her chest down to the top of her cleavage. She is wearing no jewelry. A scarf is hanging from her left shoulder and the yellow sleeves of her dress are rumpled into little folds. She is wearing a veil over her slightly tousled hair. Her attire is surprisingly sober compared to other costumes painted at the time.

You can get more details of the painting on this site where I got the info above. http://musee.louvre.fr/oal/joconde/indexEN.html

closer look
I was so shocked to see how small the painting was.  But damn! It was really beautiful up close.
Panoramic view
Panoramic view of the room where the Mona Lisa was in.  Right across it was this painting that covered the entire wall.
Very handicapped friendly
For those who don’t want to climb stairs, there’s an elevator you can use.
After an hour of walking, I had to rest.  Good thing there was a Paul Cafe inside the museum.
After an hour of walking, I had to rest. Good thing there was a Paul Cafe inside the museum.  Below is a short description found on their website.

PAUL is a French-style bakery offering traditional and fancy breads, pastries, small cakes and desserts, as well as fresh and varied sandwiches for a perfect lunchtime snack.

Set in the Carrousel garden – the setting for an ensemble of twenty statues by French sculptor Aristide Maillol – and at the foot of the Carrousel triumphal arch, the PAUL kiosk is the perfect choice for a quick take-away in a breathtaking setting.

An hour going around was enough for me so I just relaxed and had coffee while waiting.
An hour going around was enough for me.  My mom and I just relaxed and had coffee while waiting for my sister and niece.  It was around 4pm of the day we flew in and I’ve been up for almost 24 hours!  This coffee was my best friend!
This elevator brings you up the pyramid I showed you earlier.
This elevator brings you up the pyramid I showed you earlier.  You can also choose to climb up the staircase around it.
Before heading out, we couldn't resist.
Before heading out, we had to, we just had to take silly pictures!

Enough of the museum.  By this time, we were hungry!  It was 6pm and we had to get to our 8pm restaurant reservation.  As we headed out the museum, we saw a souvenir shop across the street.  Yes, of course we stopped, and looked, and bought senseless things!

Gus Creperie
Time for dinner! I thought I had everything covered in terms of how to get to places.  But google maps wasn’t that accurate.  It took us an hour to find this place.
good crepes
It was a small restaurant filled with locals.  We had a main crepe for dinner and a dessert crepe which was soooooo goooood!  It was worth all the walking!
banana nutella!!!!!
Dessert: banana nutella!!!!!

This was the end of our first day.  Let me give you a quick recap of how our day 1 in Paris went in case you din’t get to read the previous post.

-Arrived  Paris 8am, luggage took forever to arrive!

-Got to Hotel 1030am.

-Settled down, showered, till 1130am.

-Lunch 12noon

-Wasted some time figuring out how to use the prepaid metro tickets.

-Attempted to go to the shopping outlet 2pm-6pm.  But Got lost instead. Sis left inside a train.  Going in circles to try to get to her. Failed shopping outlet attempt.

-Decided to just stay in the city and enjoy some art at the Louvre from 4pm-6pm.

-Got lost again for an hour looking for the restaurant we had reservations at.

-Dinner 830-10pm.  Night cap-Glass of wine.

-Taxi back to hotel, fast asleep by 12midnight.

This last stop was the only part of our planned itinerary that pushed through.  All the other planned places to visit  were down the drain.  That meant double time for day 2.  We said, let’s start early so we can cover more ground.  Check out my next post to see what happened 🙂

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