We visited the Louvre to soak in a bit of culture and history while in Paris. I confess that I’m not a huge museum buff, however I couldn’t ignore one of the best museums in the world.
The first thing you notice when you get to the Louvre museum is that the is a LONG line snaking towards the Pyramids entrance, which is the most popular one that everyone goes through. A lot of people think that this is the only entrance to get into the Louvre. Not so. Do a little bit of research and you’ll find that there are several ways to get in. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not wait in line for 3 hours to get into the Louvre – I’d rather use that time inside the Louvre. Little people know that you can go through a different entrance (Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre station entrance gets you straight into the commercial area of the Louvre, which is under the big Pyramid) and buy tickets from the vending machines (use your credit card). No lines at the vending machines AT ALL. And since you now have your tickets, you just line up to go through security and in you go!
With 35,000 works of art, there was no way we could fully appreciate the magnitude of priceless peices in the Louvre. But what many people don’t realise until they visit the Louvre is that the site started as a fortress back in the 12th century. You alway think of the Louvre as a museum that houses history, but not necessarily as a building that has a looong history itself. The remains of the fortress are visable, and looking closely at the stone, you can actually see little patterns carved out to represent each stone mason that carved the stone.
Amongst the many works of art are the most famous peices that we all know about. These include the Winged Victory of Samothrace (190BC), Aphrodite (130BC), and of course, the Mona Lisa (1519).
Since we only had one day to visit (and frankly, we had something else that distracted us that day), we did up a little list on what were the must sees for us. We did this to ensure we had time to take in the art we were about to see. There wasn’t any point in racing around trying to see as many things as we could – we’d never appreciate it. So instead of doing an art marathon, we did a mini art tour at a more leisurely pace. Some of the things on the must see list included the big famous peices, a good look through the Paintings collection, the Egyptian Antiquities collection, and the Roman Antiquities collection. It was still a lot to see!
It was a tiring day, as we saw so much. The art that awed me the most was not the Mona Lisa, but the Winged Victory. I’m not sure why, but the scupture was just breathtaking. It was incredibly busy around the statue, however once I went up the stairs to have a good look at her, I stood there for some time taking in the delicate details of the sculture. The details stick in my mind to this day.
Towards the end of the day we left the Louvre to have a late afternoon tea… I needed a pick me up after seeing so much… Seeing such art that you read about as a child was an awesome feeling. Something that we rarely get the opportunity to do in Australia.