- Location: Center of Paris, on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement
- Time to Visit: Early summer
- Opening hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. every day except Tuesday and holidays (January 1st, May 1st, May 8th, December 25th )
- Admission Fee: â‚¬9 is required for a full-day visit to the Louvre, except for temporary exhibitions in the Hall Napoleon. It is also valid for the Musee Eugene Delacroix. The admission fee is â‚¬6 from 6 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month.
- How to Reach: To get to the Louvre, you can take the metro to Palais-Royal / Musee du Louvre or walk along the Seine.
- Nearest Railway Station: Gare du Nord
- Nearest metro station: Louvre Rivoli
- Nearest International Airport: Paris Charles de Gaulle
- The time required for sightseeing: Approximately 3 hours
You do not necessarily need a Dan Brown to tell you that for an artist, a visit to the Louvre Museum in Paris is not just another museum sojourn – it is a pilgrimage. So do not forget your sketchbook when you pass through the glass pyramid and cross the threshold to the Louvre. The finest paintings, noblest sculptures, and the most representative artworks from the earliest days of human civilization to the 20th-century share space in an unbelievable celebration of human imagination and creativity inside the wide expanse of the halls of Louvre.
Louvre with the invaluable Greek statue of the Venus de Milo, the legendary portrait of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, the Winged Victory and some of the world’s finest homoerotic works of art by Michaelangelo Caravaggio, Girodet and Hippolyte is the most visited art museum in the world.
The museum, housed in the Louvre Palace which served as a fortress built in the 12th century under Philip II, was opened for the visitors on 10th August 1793 with a showcase of 537 valuable paintings. Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household in 1674 and left the Louvre primarily as a place to exhibit the royal collection.
Collections at Louvre
Featuring nearly 35,000 works of art drawn from 8 departments from the 6th millennium BCE to the 19th century CE, the Musee du Louvre covers more than 60,000 square meters of exhibition space dedicated to the permanent collections.
- Egyptian antiquities– The department, consisting of over 50,000 pieces, includes artifacts from the Nile civilizations which date from 4,000 BCE to the 4th century CE. There is a huge collection of valuable art, papyrus scrolls, mummies, tools, clothing, jewelry, games, musical instruments, and weapons.
- Near Eastern antiquities– Divided into 3 geographic areas- the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Iran, this part of the museum represents an overview of early Near Eastern civilization and “first settlements”, before the arrival of Islam.
- Greek, Etruscan, and Roman– The Greek, Etruscan and Roman section exhibits treasured collections from the Mediterranean Basin, starting from the Neolithic up to the 6th century CE.
- Islamic art– The Islamic art collection department, covering “thirteen centuries and three continents”, comprises a valued collection of ceramics, glass, metalware, wood and ivory works, textiles and miniatures.
- Sculpture– The sculpture section includes those works which were created before 1850 and did not belong in the Etruscan, Greek, and Roman department.
- Decorative arts– Started as a division of the sculpture department, based on royal property and the transfer of work from the Basilique Saint-Denis, this department’s collection extends over from the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century.
- Painting– There are more than 6,000 works from the 13th century to 1848.
- The prints and drawings– Opened on 5 August 1797 with 415 pieces of artworks exhibited in the Galerie d’Apollon, the prints, and drawings section include various notable works on paper.
There is a grand auditorium inside the museum. Various events varying from lectures and symposia on archaeology, readings, shows, films, and concerts at the auditorium extend your visit to the Louvre.
The Louvre offers a wide range of cultural and educational activities along with several guided tours, workshops and classes for the visitors.
On-site shopping and dining
The museum itself features a number of restaurants and snack bars including a cafeteria:
The restaurant of Le Grand Louvre, located below the Pyramid, offers gourmet specialties in the midst of a classic setting. The Cafe Denon on the lower ground floor serves a variety of snacks and casual meals. The Cafe Richelieu, located on the 2nd floor, offers a wide selection of delicacies.
For books and souvenir items, you can head to the Louvre bookshop in the Hall Napoleon. The popular shopping hub of Carrousel du Louvre within the Louvre palace offers a range of designer fashion, home design shops, and fine gifts.
Accommodation near Louvre
Numerous hotels near Louvre Museum are always ready to accommodate the coming tourists. They offer comfortable accommodation and a complete range of facilities and services to the guests. Some of them are Best Western Ducs De Bourgogne, Dauphine Saint Germain, Grand Hotel Dechampaigne, L’empire Paris, Normandy Hotel, Novotel Paris Les Halles, Timhotel Le Louvre.
Come and experience the Louvre Museum in Paris, the crown of French culture and home to thousands of classic and modern masterpieces. Some links may interest you and you may find them useful before you head for the Louvre are provided below:
http://wordpress.com/tag/louvre-museum/: Has a number of entries from travelers who either reside in Paris or have visited the city in the recent past. Many of them refer to the Louvre. You just might stumble upon some necessary information before your tour to the Louvre. So, check it out!
http://blog.parisambiance.com/2008/11/13/the-louvre-museum/: Very well written blog on a visit to the Louvre, along with some valuable pieces of advice for first-time visitors. Short and sweet!
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4127042168353949424: A very comprehensive video of a tour to the Louvre. For a clear idea on how it looks on the inside and views of some of the most reputed sculptures preserved in the collection, including ‘Winged Victory’, watch this!
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=iTZlyWOPdEY&feature=related: This is a coverage of the Louvre with a difference, starting with an extensive view of the Egyptian gallery and the various royal furniture and medallions on display. You will love it, despite the unsteady camera.