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Musée du Louvre


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Home of Monalisa

Published by Ethel Rudnitzki — one year ago

Paris is known, among other things, for its art and culture. A lot of it is kept inside Musée du Louvre, the most famous museum in the city and probably in the world. 

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It is home for more than 380 thousand of art pieces, including Monalisa - the most famous -, Venus de Miló, Hamurabi code and much more. It is one of the biggest art museums in the world. 

There are art pieces from centuries before Christ until the 18th century. More recent art pieces can be found in other museums in Paris such as Musée D'Orsay and Centre Pompidou. 

Plan your visit

Due to this great variety of art you need to plan you visit to the Louvre very well. It is almost impossible to see the whole museum in a day or two - if you are an art lover and have a lot of time to spend in Paris, you can go a whole week to Louvre without repeating a single room. 

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The museum has 5 floors: 2 underground, and 3 upper floors. Art is divided into thematic aisles in this grounds. In the lower floor there is not much to see: it has an auditorium and room for temporary exhibitions.

In the first lower (-1), just under the ground floor, you will start to see the main exhibition. In the left side there are French sculptures from the 16th to 18th century, made for the royalty. It is a really beautiful exposition, with the pieces disposed in a place that looks like a winter garden. On the right side there are Egyptian and Islamic art from the year 30 b.C. until the 17th century a.C. 

The ground floor is where you will enter the museum. In the center there is a glass pyramid and under it there is a ticket office, locker room for bags and entrance to the main aisles. On the left side there are more French sculptures - some of them from the 5th century - , and oriental antiguitys.

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On the right side there are egyptian antiguitys, african, asian and south american ancient art, and, the most famous part of it, the greek and roman sculptures aisle, where you'll find Venus de Miló - a sculpture of Venus greek goddess made 100 years before Christ by unknwon artist. 

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Just above that, on the second floor there are some more egypcial and roman ancient art, but mostly european. In the left side there are decoratives european art from the kings and queens of the Middle Age and beggining of Modern Age.

And finnally, on the right side you'll find Reinassance art and MonaLisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci. This is the most crowded place in the museum due to the  painting's fame after the Codigo da Vinci book and movie. It may be hard to get to the painting since there are so many people trying to reach it for a picture, but it is certainly incredible to be close to such an art icon. If you don't like crowds so much, enjoy the other paintings around - almost all of them are treasures and they are not as loaded as Monalisa. 

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On the last floor there are more French paintings from Middle Age and Reinassance. 

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In all five floors you may find souvenir shops and some of them have cafés and snack bars for those who are spending many hours inside the museum. In the lower floor also, there is an acess to a small shopping center with designer and jewellery shops and fancy restaurants. 

Now that you know all that, you can choose what you prefer to see at the Louvre. It has options for all tastes - from people who want to admire or study art in every little aspect, to those who just want pictures with the most famous paintings. While walking in the museum you will cross with people from all over the world and many different interests - there will be those art students who will be drawing sketches from the sculptures, people taking inumerous selfies, children playing, people buying at souvenir shops and tourists who enjoy art and saved some time to visit this art treasure, just like I did. 

Home of Monalisa

I reccomend visiting the french sculptures in the lower floors, as well as the Hamurabi code in oriental antiguity's aisles at the ground floor. After that, you should go to the greek and roman sculptures and then to the Reinassance painting on the first floor. 

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It took me a little less than 4 hours to visit all that, but it was certainly worth it. 

History

Besides the history the museum keeps in its art pieces, Louvre is a historic place as well. It used to be the Castle of the French monarchy from the 12th to 16th century. It was built in 1190 as a fortress to defend the kingdom from the Vikings attacks. Later, it was transformed into a palace and got bigger and bigger, and more luxurious as the years went by. 

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In the middle of the 17th century, the royal palace was transfered to Versailles due to the people's insatisfation with the royal family - which would lead to the French Revolution in 1789. Since then, the place became an art palace. The rooms and aisles where the royals would live, eat and make events, became art galleries. 

In the 18th century the place became an official museum being renamed many times and earning many other art pieces until nowadays. 

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Although it has been reformed many times, Louvre still looks like a royal palace. It is a buildings complex in a U-shaped form with many windows and rock sculpted details. It also has gold elements and represents the french monarchy. 

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The last big reform it had was the building of three glass pyramids to acess the museum, right in the center of the main buildings. 

Visitations

The museum in open for visitations from Wednesday to Monday (it closes on Tuesday) from 9 am to 6 pm during winter time. There are also night visits that happen once in a while and you need to buy tickets in advance. 

To get inside the museum you must buy tickets as well (but you don't need to do it beforehead). The general price is 18 euros but if you are under 25 years old and live or study at the European Union you don't need to pay for entrance. There is also audioguides available for 6 euros. 

Location

You can get to the Louvre by subway. There is a station that has an entrance from inside the museum: Palais Royal Louvre (lines 1 and 7). 

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But I reccomend to visit the surroundings of the museum by foot. Louvre has a big garden in front of it, called Jardin des Tuileries, with many trees and flowers during spring and summer, and with a beautiful Ferris Wheel during autumn and winter. The gardens ends in Place de la Concorde and Champs-Elyseés, other famous attractions in Paris. 

Inside Jardins des Tuileries there is also another museum called Musee d'Orangerie, where you will fnd Monet paintings. Last, but not least, there is an Arch in the middle of the garden bult by Naponeon to honor the  french soldier. It is perfeclty aligned with ARc du Triomphe in the avenue of Champs-Elysées.

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Also, Louvre is just on the margin of the Seine and it is close to Pont des Arts and Pont Neuf, beautiful places to see the river cost and enjoy the city of Paris. 

If you're in Paris, don't miss Louvre and its surroundings! 

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