Thinking what it was going to be like to go to The Louvre in Paris, I never in my wildest imagination thought how magnificent everything would be…
Hang on to your hats, grab something cool to drink and let’s take a tour! I promise not to share all 300+ photos today but just some highlights. I’ll share more later but just the outside of the museum is enough for just one post!
The Louvre palace was begun by King Francis I in 1546 on the site of a 12th-century fortress built by King Philip II. Francis was a great art collector, and the Louvre was to serve as his royal residence. “History.com
The sheer immensity of the buildings which make up the Louvre just doesn’t show in anyone’s photographs! You really need to experience it…
One of the reasons I am sooooo glad I was able to finally visit Paris and to see it with my daughter Amy. This was her big bucket list item to see while we were there in France and it just kept on giving…
My desire was to see the Tulleries out back, and I had walked a bit through them the night we tried to go up into the Eiffel Tower (didn’t happen, long story!).
We tried to get tickets but they were sold out. I had paid for as much of our trip in cash as I could before we left, setting up our hotels/AirBnB’s. I just had no more money to set up our two big sightseeing trips to Versailles and the Louvre, so we just walked over and “took a chance” on getting in…
Correct me if I am wrong, but most of these statues are to show the citizens of the time who these famous figures were. We decided not to pay for the headphones and went on our own guided tour just taking our time and browsing through the rooms we really wanted to see.
Amy had read on the Louvre website that upwards of 30,000 visitors come through the entrance here underneath the pyramid to tour each day.
Covid be damned! We were going!! Some people wore masks but it was a good 90+ degrees and we just decided to forego masks; too hot. We never wore masks after the airplane ride. Very few people coughed. Paris was having an increase in Covid cases but those were locals, from what we learned from a waitress at one of the cafés we ate at.
While visiting the Louvre, we met a lot of nice people and enjoyed visiting with staff members who sit in each room. They are there for you to ask questions and by doing this, we kept them from total boredom. 🙂 Okay, and they make sure you don’t sneak off with “some souvenir,” too!
We only waited about an hour as the security staff who checked bags and let tour groups inside were gracious enough to NOT just let in tour groups. They would go back and forth letting people queue up to enter.
It took about an hour, which we thought wasn’t bad. Better than Disneyland!
I was blown away by the incredible detail on the outsides of each building… This roof was de rigueur in its time ~ a masterpiece made of lead. We noticed that several chimneys had to be supported with cables to prevent them falling off. Wise decision!
Let’s go inside!
Our first stop was the restrooms (of course) followed by a trip to the counters for a map. Amy guided us through each floor and we began with the Greek and Roman section.
We took our time but moved quickly since we wanted to see most of the museum. My goal was to see Napoleon’s quarters, and Amy wanted to study all the Roman antiquities.
I am not good with Roman and Greek mythology but my daughter amazed me with all of her knowledge and happily was my personal tour guide! She knows a massive amount about what was going on during each time period; she could be a commentator on a historical program.
If you haven’t seen any old episodes of Odyssey – Ancient History Documentaries and the original name Time Team on YouTube, you should check it out! Off the air since 2012, the British archeologists on the show’s 20-year run are brilliant at finding and sharing archeological finds and often very funny! Great show for seeing how people used to live back in Neolithic, Medieval and other times through digs all within the “three-days-to-do-it” motto. Filmed all within the United Kingdom with a few specials across Europe.
The ceilings within the museum were massive and entire rooms were moved and reset within the museum or were there since the time of the Louises and Napoleon and later up to Louis XVIII.
The paintings, many for propaganda purposes to impress visitors, were scenes of famous mythological battles. I think it was in 1789, after the French Revolution was over and life had settled down, the Louvre became the place to house France’s treasures. Much of what was held within all six museums in Paris, the best was brought to the Louvre to become the main museum of France and one of the finest in the world.
Thankfully, not everything was destroyed during the fires and stripping of France’s castles during that time period. Some pieces were taken as souvenirs, some were taken by royalists to preserve and protect them.
After Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette lost their heads, Napoleon added a lot of treasures to the Louvre from his travels to Egypt and beyond.
Venus de Milo was really one of the few super famous pieces we saw last Monday (just a week ago now). We couldn’t get near the Mona Lisa… We snapped from afar.
Amazing detail in each statue! The stone just sparkles in the sunlight and some statues were luminescent!!
We were blown away by the musculature which shows through many of the statues. How did the carvers “see” this within each piece of stone?
After a while, we knew we needed the tags with each statue or piece we photographed so we could identify them when we got home. So here is Paris’ info.!
We learned from hearing some guides that often statues were made in pieces and pieced together. This woman’s upper body (head cavity) showed how the head bust would have been added on after the main body was in situ. Her arm was also missing but I didn’t get a close-up of that area.
Well, I would love to keep going with this post but I think this is a good place to stop for now. I will get more ready for the weekend for you.
Amy and I enjoyed a good six hours there at the Louvre wandering up and down the long corridors. We ate lunch at a cute restaurant and met another Amy (Emi) at our table. We also visited the gift shops and brought home some loot!
I hope you have enjoyed this post and please leave a comment about what you enjoyed when you toured the Louvre!