Archive for January 21st, 2011

January 21, 2011

Musée du Louvre, Museum of Louvre, Paris

One of the greatest and by many THE greatest museum in the world. Its a huge fortress that grew up from about 1190 AD by king Philippe Auguste occupying the south west side of the current Cour Carré. The treasures of France were kept here since 1317 AD  put together from the wealth of the orders of temples and hospital by king Charles V. The museum was given idea on about 1793 under the revolutionary government under the name of “Museum Centrale des Arts de la Republique”. it was later change to Museum Napoleon under the Empire before coming back to its current name.

It has about 160 000 square meters of space of which only about 60 000 sq mts is used for works open to the public. The idea has long been to expand the space and provide easier and more numerous access to the public. The annex of Lens, north of France as here http://www.louvrelens.fr/en/ and the ongoing project in Abu Dhabi as here http://www.agencefrancemuseums.fr/en/home/  is to go in that direction. The louvre is to the world !!!

One must know the museum is closed on Tuesdays, open every other day. Admission is 10€ general admission, 11€ for the Hall Napoleon and 14€ combined admission, there is 6€ for audioguides.  Open from 9h to 18h and on wednesdays and fridays open to 21h45 . Admission is free on the first Sunday of the month and on Bastille Day July 14. The best entrances are on the quai François Mitterrand, passage Richelieu, and the 99 rue de Rivoli to avoid as much as possible the crowds. The best days to visit are Mondays and Thursdays are these are full days of work in France. Weekends everybody is here, plus wednesdays afternoons and Fridays are rest period for many workers in France. Be early on opening time. The metro line 1 palais royale/musée du Louvre and Buses 21,48 ,and 72 are easy to take you here.  Plan ,plan ahead, read ,read ahead, its a huge place, on average visit of 3h15 but it really needs two days to see all well. Get an audioguide, get a map of the place, buy your ticket ahead of time, and settled on the areas you want to see first, narrow it down if your time is limited. The Sphinx, mona lisa(joconte), Napoleon III apartments, Venus, some of these need to be seen on your first trip. One of every two visitors are first timers. You can advance purchase tickets at many stores in Paris before arriving at the museum such as FNAC, Galeries Lafayette, Au Printemps,BHV, Virgin Megastore, Carrefour, Auchan ,Leclerc supermarkets, and online for US visitors at ticketweb, site here http://www.ticketweb.com/snl/Search.action?query=louvre

Before I go on, this is the official site of the museum in English version http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home.jsp?bmLocale=en

and this is the city of Paris tourist office take on the museum ,http://en.parisinfo.com/museum-monuments/99/musee-du-louvre

You have sections such as my favorite Egyptian antiquities, then Etruscan/Roman antiquities,Greek antiquities, Oriental antiquities, Oriental relating to the art of Islam, interior and exterior architectures marvels (especially the apartments to Napoleon III), Graphic Arts, First arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, Object d’Arts from all over the world, Paintings of the masters as English, Spanish, Flemish, French, Italians, other Europeans, European sculpture,French sculpture,and Italian sculptures. All marvels too many to mention here.

You have guided tours as well as workshops to participate on, the official site will tell you.  A wonderful auditorium for concerts, expositions, exhibits, and movies showcasing the arts in all its form as well as temporary exhibits covering many subjects.  Next door you have the wonderful jardin des Tuileries with history attached to it as it was the palace of Tuileries (made for Catherine de Medicis) right by the carrousel that was damaged by the communards in 1871, put to fire, and finally razed by the city in 1882. Now private group is trying to rebuild it again.

An splendid boutique store for your shopping even online here http://www.boutiquesdemusees.fr/en/boutique/museum/musee-du-louvre.  You have a luggage bags and coats valet service at  underneath the Pyramide (Hall Napoleon) and the porte des Lions from 9h to 18h45 and to 21h45 on late night openings. Porte des Lions are to be gotten back by 17h45.  You have several choices for snacking and eating ,drinking inside the complex such as Paul,Comptoir du Louvre, Richelieu, and Grand Louvre, all detail in English here http://eliancemusees.com/uk.html 

In addition to the fame Cafe Renard  in the jardin des tuileries and Cafe Marly  http://www.caferenard.fr/ 

You will have a wonderful time at a wonderful place of Paris and the world. Even if your directions are not into arts, this place will catch up with you. Come on in, be part of Paris,and the world. Cheers

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