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Discover the Louvre – a short guide to the largest museum in Paris

4 April 2017
How to visit the Louvre? What you should know about the museum?

How to visit the Louvre? It seems like everyone is asking this question before the first visit. Nothing strange, scholars says that if you would like to see all exhibits it would take you around 100 days! Fortunately, most of you are not interested in all exhibits, so you can easily squeeze to 3-4 hours. Before your first visit in Louvre, I encourage you to read the following post :). In addition to my tour of the museum, you will also learn some interesting facts about the Louvre, which you really should know! I will also tell you how to prepare for your visit, how to avoid queues, where to buy tickets and how to avoid the crowds!

10 Interesting facts about the Louvre you probably didn’t know
  1.  Probably most of you know that Louvre is the largest museum in the world, as I have already mentioned above. But, have you ever wondered how much time you would have to spend on one exhibit to see everything in 100 days? 😛 Only 30 seconds !!! So you must be very fast if you want to see the collection of 35,000 of the world’s greatest masterpieces.

    Just have look o this bulding on the top of the picture! This is the Louvre museum! It’s so huuuuuge!! :O

  2. Apparently the museum is visited daily by 15 000 of visitors. 70% of them are tourists!
  3. The Louvre was originally a fortress built in the late 12th century. In 18th century the Louvre became a museum. In the undergrounds of the Louvre you can see fortress remains from that period!
  4. Napoleon moved to the Louvre in 18th century. It was his official residence. He expanded Louvre collection and hung the Mona Lisa in his private bedroom.
  5. Mona Lisa is a relatively small painting (I also didn’t realize that). It can be comparable to A2 format. However, it is still the most popular attraction in the museum. In 1911 the picture was stolen and it returned to its place 2 years later. Since then, Mona Lisa has been protected by a glass case and a fence that doesn’t allow to climb too close to the painting.

    Mona Lisa 🙂

  6. The Louvre’s galleries are displayed across 15 acres! They contain 7500 paintings and 66% of them belong to French artists
  7. Even the Nazis have found use for the Louvre. In the times of their occupation, a few of the rooms were treated as a warehouse for stolen art.
  8. The Louvre Museum is haunted by a mummy called Belphegor. Unfortunately, we were not able to meet a mummy
  9. The Glass Pyramid at the Louvre was built in 1989 and now serves as the main entrance to the museum. It is 21 meters high and is made of glass and metal. Nevertheless, it is a miniature copy of the Great Pyramid from Egypt. Next to it are three smaller pyramids, but in fact there are actually 5 pyramids! The last one you will find in the undergrounds 🙂

    The Louvre

    Undergrounds 🙂

    The Louvre

  10. The second Louvre museum is in Abu Dhabi 😀 (Have you ever been there?)
How to bypass the queues? – Meet the hidden entrance to the Louvre and plan your visit in the evening.

We were very lucky that we decided to come to Paris for the weekend – Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Louvre museum is open on Friday till 9;45 PM, so we could go to the museum in the evening! After sunset we stopped our city walk and went directly to the museum. I recommend you to visit the official website to check the admission hours.

  • Tickets

Luckily, I didn’t have to buy a ticket. Although I am no longer a student, but for all EU citizens under the age of 25 access is free. Darek had to buy a ticket. He decided to buy online ticket, due to the risk of large queues. Unfortunately, it turned out that the ticket had to be picked up in a small newsstand near the Louvre. It couldn’t be printed at home. 🙁 It was not so easy to find this newsstand and it turned out that during our visit there was no big queue. We could just totally skip this online purchase. However, I don’t advise you not buying online. It all depends on when you go there and whether you are in the high tourist season.

  • Hidden entrance to the Louvre

I’m still not sure why they are called “hidden” because you may easily find them on the official page of the Louvre museum. 😛 Below, you will find usefull picture with all entrances to the Louvre. We used Palais Royal Musee du Louvre, because we came by subway. We confirm that we didn’t queue to the entrance 🙂

Source: http://sightseekersdelight.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/louvre-entrances.jpg

How to visit the Louvre?

Before the trip I recommend to look at the internet and make a good research. Firstly, you have to ask yourself what are the most interesting things for you and what you want to see in the first place. Be careful, because you may spend 4 hours in the Louvre and you will not even reach Mona Lisa. This is why it is worth to visit the museum online and after entering the Louvre immediately get a map. Not only rooms are highlighted on the map, but also the most interesting attractions. You can also download mobile application, which will be your guide 🙂 Check the App Store or the Google Store to get the right app for you.

  • What was interesting to me

Except Mona Lisa I wanted to focus more on Greek and Roman sculptures and Egypt. 😉 Honestly, I’m not a fan of paintings, so they were less important to me. That is why in this post you will find not so many.

What I have seen

Well, I don’t hide that my tour of the Louvre was quite chaotic. 😛 Although I’ve been studying the various maps and the location of my “must see” for quite a long time, I still got lost several times. Orientation in closed rooms does not belong to my strengths. For example we passed the Venus of Milo four times 😀  … Anyway we managed to see what was most desired by us! Below you will find pictures of the most interesting exhibits for us. They are not arranged in the order in which we saw them, because as I mentioned above – I’m not able to present the correct way of sightseeing.

  • Sculptures, sculptures and paintings 🙂

Exhibit from the Egyptian collection

Melpomene – the Muse of Tragedy. She is often represented with a tragic mask

The Sarcophagus of the Spouses is considered one of the great masterpieces of Etruscan art. Unlike in the Greek world, where banquets were reserved for men, the Etruscan woman, who held an important place in society, is represented by her husband’s side, in the same proportions and in a similar pose.

One of the interesting pictures that I liked very much. You will find it in the big hall that you have to go through to get to Mona Lisa.

The beautiful centaur!

The Sleeping Hermaphroditus is an ancient marble sculpture

I really like this sculpture, however I don’t remember the name of it!

The Nike of Samothrace, is a marble Hellenistic sculpture that was created about the 2nd century BC. The Nike is held to be one of the great surviving masterpieces of sculpture from the Hellenistic Period. To be honest – I didn’t like it that much 😛

Tiber River God Sculpture – definitely my favorite one! It’s really amazing <4

The Wedding at Cana by Paolo Veronese. The painting is huge and monumental,. It covers the entire wall and create a perspective impression of the opening space. You will find it in the same room as Mona Lisa 🙂

Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss is a sculpture by Antonio Canova first commissioned in 1787 by Colonel John Campbell. It is regarded as a masterpiece of Neoclassical sculpture, but shows the mythological lovers at a moment of great emotion.

A Huge Altar

Big columns / statues at the entrance to one of the halls

Sarcophagus of Etruscans

Egyptian Sarcophagus

Red-figure vase painting

I like it so much but again I don’t remember the name of it 🙁

Beautiful interior of the halls

Atena

Crucifixion

Don’t forget to look up 🙂

Interesting mosaics

Don’t forget to look up! 🙂

Portraits!

This is the only contemporary painting located on the 3rd floor that drew my attention!

Venus of Milo 🙂

What are your impressions of the Louvre?

Have you managed to explore the Louvre in a less crowded day? What do you like the most – classic and popular or the more original and less known exhibits? How much time did you spend in the Louvre? It took us about 3h and the photos above show only 1/5 of what we have seen and we haven’t seen everything 😛

I hope my that my content will make it easier during your visit in the Louvre museum!

Check also my personal thoughts from Paris and my best guide ever – How to spend 3 days in Paris!! 🙂

1 Comment

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