Saturday, March 22, 2014

{France} Musée du Louvre in Paris

I've debated with myself long and hard about how I was going to start this blog. Do I start by telling you a little bit more about myself? Or how about a little post about the places I've been able to visit so far and then what's on my ever-growing travel list? Or the fact that I just love a good list... period? Any kind of list but especially travel lists. Or what kinds of things I think I'll end up writing about and sharing on this little blog o'mine? In the end I decided to just jump right in instead. Eventually all the rest of those things will come out right? Let's get to the good stuff!

So without further ado let's start with my favourite ....errr maybe I should say 2nd favourite city? { more to come on this dilemma in time. Ooh a teaser already! :-) } in the whole world. Well at least so far. I've got a lot of world left yet to see.

Today we are off to the City of Lights or the City of Love. Ahhh Paris. I'll have to report back at a later date if the second name is indeed true. I have a sneaking suspicion it is.

Paris was the first city I visited outside of North America and was really what started my love affair with all things French, European, historical, and royal. It began on a cold day in February 2005 {nope, not Paris in the spring or summer. No I go in February! Brrrr!) and has only grown since. I've been to Europe a few times since that trip and almost every one has included a stop in Paris. I can't get enough of it and every trip includes new things I didn't see the time before and it always, inevitably, includes a trip to the Louvre. Honestly this blows my mind sometimes. If you'd asked me even 10 years ago if I'd see the Louvre in my lifetime I would have probably said yes. But to have seen it several times. To actually have favourite pieces and know my way around. No, I never would have said that. But I feel so,so lucky that I can.

Today I'd like to share a few of my favourite photos of the Musée du Louvre taken in 2011 when I was able to share it with my Mom. She came over to visit me when I was in France on work assignment and this topped her "must see" list so off we went one beautiful July morning.

The Musée du Louvre is one of the world's largest museums and historical monuments and with 9.7 million visitors per year {15,000 per day!} it is the world's most visited museum. It is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement and is a central landmark of Paris.

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace {Palais du Louvre} which was originally built in the late 12th century {12th century! I just love these old buildings!} by Philip II as a fortress. The building was extended many times to what we see today and was used as a palace until 1692 when Louis XIV decided to choose the Palace of Versailles for his residence instead. During the French Revolution it was decreed that the museum be used to display France's masterpieces and it officially opened on August 10, 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings and 184 art objects. Today the museum is home to over 380,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century, with some 35,000 of those on display. In some later posts I'll share some of my favourite pieces, surprisingly {or maybe not surprisingly for those that have seen her} the Mona Lisa did not make the cut.

By 1874, the Louvre Palace had achieved it's present form with the Sully, Richelieu, and Denon Wings but in 1983 French President François Mitterand proposed the Grand Louvre plan to renovate the building. The architect I.M.Pei was given the project and proposed a glass pyramid to stand over the new entrance to the main court, the Cour Napoléon. The pyramid was completed in 1989 and the Inverted Pyramid {La Pyramide Inversée}was then completed in 1993. Whether you love it or hate it I think all can agree it is a pretty impressive addition to an already stunning building. Personally, I quite like it.

For more information if you'd like to visit the Musée du Louvre ...

  • Louvre Museum Official Website
  • What are fellow travelers saying about the Louvre on TripAdvisor? Click here to find out.
  • Address: 99 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
  • Arriving by the métro? Stop at Louvre Rivoli and Palais Royal Musée du Louvre, both on Line 1 (yellow) 

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