Le Louvre : a wonderful building, once a fortress, then a royal residence and now a museum, with an impressive art collection
Coming to Paris without visiting Le Louvre ?
Before designing « A soft discovering of Le Louvre” tour, I’ve been trying to think of how I would feel as a visitor to Paris spending a short time in Paris…
I would love to see this great Museum but I would choose maybe to leave Paris without visiting Le Louvre…
- So many places to see and to visit and only a few days in Paris… and Le Louvre is such a huge building, often crowded, with miles and miles of Galleries and numerous rooms and artworks…
- How would I manage to spend a few hours only in Le louvre and see these famous masterpieces without walking miles and miles , without getting lost and without feeling totally exhausted and frustrated at the end of visit,
- Thus, I would probably go instead to Orsay Museum and postpone the visit of Le Louvre until my next visit to Paris… …And I would probably feel frustrated when leaving Paris…
This is why I designed this tour for you :
a “Soft discovering of Le Louvre”
Video : Here are the highlights along the tour :
no stress, no waiting line, without getting lost and including the greatest masterpieces
I accompany you (only you) , give you all my attention and walk at your pace
Hope it will answer your wishes
Le Louvre in a few key figures
- The museum most visited in the all world : 15 000 visitors per day, 50 visitors per minute (!) and 20 000 visitors watch the Joconda per day
- More than 9 miles of corridors
- More than 2000 officers operating in Le Louvre
- An area of more that 49 acres and an area of more than 750 000 square feet opened to the public
Art works from 6th c BC to 19th c
- 403 rooms
- More than 8 million visitors
- More than 10 000 steps
- 410 windows
- 3000 locks
- 48 firefighters
- More than 37 000 pieces of art on permanent exhibit and more than 460 000 pieces in total.
- If you’d watch every artwork displayed during 10 seconds each, you’d have to spend 3 days and 2 nights to see them all
- 3 entrances to the 3 parts of Le Louvre (Richelieu, Sully and Denon) under the Pyramide
- Open everyday (except on Tuesdays), open till 9:45 pm Wed & Fridays, all other days 9-6 pm; admission 15€
- Eight departments: Eastern Antiquities, Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculptures, Decorative Arts, Paintings, and Prints and Drawings.
In this article, you’ll see that Le Louvre is not only a Museum but it’s also a wonderful building with a complex and rich History. So many reason which makes it worth a visit ! Before being a Museum, the building was first a fortress then it was rebuilt several times to become a Royal Palace.
One color for each historic step
First, a Fortress : The building was first erected as a fortress in 1192 by King Philippe Auguste to protect the city from Barbarian attacks. It was a thick cylindrical dungeon surrounded by towered walls. During the “Soft discovering of Le Louvre”, we’ll see the remains of this fortress
Then a Royal Palace : In the 14th century, the fortress ceased to be used for defensive purposes. It was enlarged and embellished by Charles V (king of France 1364-1380) and became a royal palace
Then a Renaissance Palace : At the beginning of the 16th century, the palace enlarged by Charles V was razed and François 1st King of France (1494-1547)) ordered the construction of a new Renaissance structure of the same size.
Construction of a little Castle (= The Tuileries) nearby Le Louvre : In 1547, Catherine de Medicis (wife of Henri IV, Kiing of France) ordered the construction of a little castle nearby the west of Le Louvre, called the Tuileries. Then Henri IV, decided to create a grandiose royal residence by joining the Louvre and the Palais des Tuileries by a series of buildings. Among these buildings : the Grande Galerie built along the Seine.
Construction of the “Pavillon de l’Horloge” (“clock Pavillon”) : In the 17th century, in 1624, Louis XIII and his minister Richelieu added the Pavillon de l’Horloge
Under Louis XIV and his minister Colbert : The Cour Carrée, a great sure court was constructed and the Royal apartments were sumptuously decorated (= the Apollon Gallery ). After Colbert’s death, the court moved to Versailles and the French Kings lost interest in Le Louvre
After the revolution of 1789 : Napoleon I started the construction of a wing along the rue de Rivoli. Napoleon I, later kings and Napoleon III lived in the Tuileries and the Louvre was used for offices and as a museum.
In 1793, Le Louvre became a museum. It was the first state museum. It opened to the public with an
exhibit of more than 500 painting and decorative arts. Many of this art works had been confiscated from the royal family and French nobility.
From the mid-19th century onward : i Napoleon III finished the construction of the Aile Richelieu along the rue de Rivoli.
A new perspective : Arc du Carrouse l-Tuileries gardens, Place de la Concorde- Champs Elysées – Arc de Thriomphe. During the uprising of the Paris Commune in 1871, the Palais des Tuileries was burned. This opened the perspective we enjoy now.
In the late 80s : a glass pyramid in the central courtyard is built (Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei) which serves as the museum’s main entrance.
In 1993, the Richelieu wing (=the building along the rue de Rivoli) which formerly housed the Ministry of Finance opened to the public
Soft discovering of Le Louvre” : Along our way
and of course, we’ll see the Gioconda and the Winged Victory too !
Some tips :
- When you visit Paris, Le Louvre is a must-see, but most of the time there is a lot of people. Choose rather to go in the morning or at a night opening time (Wednesdays or Fridays)
- Purchase your tickets in advance. It will save time. But you’ll still have to wait sometime because of the security check.
- Pickpockets : I‘ve never had this bad experience at Le Louvre, but it may be a place where it’s more likely to happen can happen, whether inside the Louvre or outside in the courtyard. Keep you bag closed, and ignore people asking you for a donation or a signature for a petition.
Practical details :
- Website : www.louvre.fr
- Opening time : Le Louvre is open everyday (except Tuesdays) from 9am to 6 pm. Night opening until 9.45pm on Wednesdays and Fr
- Getting to Le Louvre :
- Metro stop : Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre
A”Soft discovering of Le Louvre” and around
with Ann Jeanne in Paris
If you’re coming to Paris for a few days stay , don’t miss Le Louvre. Experience a “Soft discovering of Le Louvre” with a Parisian, Ann Jeanne of “Ann Jeanne in Paris” :
no stress, no waiting line, without getting lost , I accompany you (only you) , give you all my attention and walk at your pace
- Spend a few hours in Le Louvre and enjoy the highlights of this huge and great museum with Ann Jeanne in Paris
You will see :
the Venus de Milo,
Mona Lisa (la Gioconda), the Winged Victory,
The Coronation of Napoleon, The Wedding Feast at Cana, The Great Sphinx of Tanis,
The Scribe, the Marly horses, the Apollon Gallery, the Medieval Louvre, the Odalisque, Liberty leading the People
The raft of the Medusa, the Caryatides room, the Oath of the Horatii, Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière,
Experience Paris,with Ann Jeanne in Paris, native Parisian :
“Ann Jeanne in Paris” is very different from a tour operator. My private walking tours have nothing to see with a traditional guided tour. Only you, or you and the person with you.
It’s much more a meeting, a cross cultural experience. Because I was born raised and have been studying and then working in Paris, because it’s my hometown, I’d be delighted to show you my Paris, and make you experience Paris through my eyes.
I’ll welcome you, I’ll give you all my attention, will give you tips to make the most of your stay in Paris. I’ll walk at you pace and can personalize the tour according to your wishes and preferences.
Some more photos
Because Le Louvre is not only a museum but a wonderful building :
When you visit the Louvre, you can see the remains of the Medieval Louvre :
More Art Works :
…and the Mona Lisa, with so many people around… And it can be even more people than on the photo. During my “soft discovering of Le Louvre tour”. I take you there at the best time and take the best way to get to the Mona Lisa when there is only a very few people !!