Louvre – Most Visited Museum in the World
Visiting Paris is probably on top of everyone’s list. There is so much to see and do in this most romantic city on Earth that you’ll simply be amazed in the variety. With magnificent museums, countless historic landmarks, beautiful gardens and some of the finest art galleries in the world, Paris is a truly enticing city for sightseeing. And what is significant about Paris’s sights is that you can visit a great number of ‘must sees’ all in one trip.
With what the City of Lights has to offer, it’s really difficult to narrow the fields of choices, but there are some sights that during your ‘Paris-in-a-day’ tour should not be missed. One of them is, no doubt, the Louvre, an impressive world-famous museum, famed for its magnificent art collections ever. Whether you are planning your first visit to this stunning museum or not, you’ll enjoy the greatest treasures of France and be inspired by the amazing masterpieces of the Museum. Among them you will find the works of art and artisanship from all over Europe. With more than 8,700,000 visitors annually, the Louvre Museum is truly a city within the city!
Located in the heart of Paris, between the River Seine and the Rue de Rivoli, the Louvre is one of the largest palaces and the most famous museums in the world, spread in a total area of 652,300 sq ft, representing traditional French architecture since the Renaissance. The collections are divided into seven departments, including Oriental Antiquities, Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Decorative Arts, Painting, Sculpture, and Graphic Arts.
The origin of the Louvre dates to the 12th century when Philip August began construction of a fortress on the banks of the Seine. Then Renaissance kings converted the fortress into a palace and only in the 17th century the Museum attained the shape and appearance we know today. Exhibitions were held in Louvre as early as in 1699 and already after the French Revolution, the Louvre became an art museum. In 1989, the glass pyramid entrance opened to the public, designed by the Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei.
Did You Know?
- The museum employs almost 2,500 people.
- The Louvre Palace houses the Louvre Museum since 1793.
- The museum was inaugurated in 1739.
- The Louvre Museum has a MacDonald in it.
- During World War II the museum removed most of the art and hid valuable pieces.
- Many of the treasures of the Louvre’s collection of ancient art can be traced from Napoleon’s conquest.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible.
La Gioconda (Mona Lisa) – the world-renowned painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Painted in the early sixteenth century, in 1506, the masterpiece was stolen in 1911 by a former employee of the museum and found in Florence in 1913. Other renowned masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci are Virgin and Child with St. Anne and the Virgin of the Rocks.
The Coronation of Napoleon – created by Jacques-Louis in 1807 to immortalize Napoleon’s coronation on 2 December 1804 at Notre-Dame. Later the former revolutionary David became Napoleon’s official painter completing a number of famous paintings depicting the ruler. The painting first was exhibited in 1889.
Liberty Leading the People – one of the major works of French romanticism, painted during the French Revolution of 1830 as a political poster. Created by artist Eugene Delacroix, the famous scene depicts a woman portrayed as the embodiment of liberty that guides a troop of people in a battle for their freedom. An interesting fact is that some believe that Frederic Bartholdi is likely to have been inspired by this famous piece of art when he designed the Statue of Liberty in the 1880’s.
If you appreciate art and desire to get an insight of the art on display at the museum, a visit to this wonderful Paris getaway is something not-to-be-missed, promising colorful and unforgettable memories to long a lifetime. And if you wish to discover or rediscover Louvre collections, you shouldn’t miss out the museum’s range of cultural and educational activities, including workshops, classes and guided tours.
The museum is open 6 days a week, except Tuesday and the following national Holidays: Dec. 25, Jan. 1, and May 1. Keep in mind that admission to the permanent collection is free for all on the first Sunday of every month, plus on July 14 (French holiday). Book your tickets to Paris well ahead of trip to get cheapest deals.