The Louvre museum stands tall as a monumental architecture in Paris city’s 7th arrondissement among other major attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, and Notre Dame to name a few. In a city known for its affection for fine arts, the Louvre cannot be missed at any cost since it steals the limelight with historic sculptures and artworks.
The museum opened its doors to the public in 1793 with collections sourced courtesy Napoleonic war conquests, which set off a rapid growth. Many of the artworks were returned after the defeat of the emperor in the 19th Century, but the conquests still find a place in the present Egyptian galleries and Napoleon III apartments. In fact, the Louvre museum is number one in the list of many of the historical museums in the world – and stands as massive inside as it is gorgeous outside with the Louvre pyramid in the courtyard.
Visiting the Louvre
The Louvre is mostly crowded on weekends, during rainy seasons, and especially when the entrance is free. The trick to skip the line in the museum is to go slow and explore one wing by one. Since there would be massive line of people just outside the pyramid made of glass and even in the underground Carrousel du Louvre, you should get tickets in advance from online portals. Visiting the Louvre in the evening time would be a bit more hassle-free, but may provide you less time in comparison to early morning visits.
Usually, people dedicate 3 to 4 hours to visit one particular wing of the Louvre and the Sully Wing. Many of the explanations in the museum are in French, but there are audio guides giving insights regarding what is on the exhibit floors. The Louvre opens on all days at 09:00 am, but the closing hours change on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and on Fridays. Moreover, the museum often stays closed on National holidays.
The Entrance and Galleries
There are two easy to access entrances to the museum, namely the Richelieu Wing and the Denon Wing on the left side and the right side of the courtyard, interlinked by Sully Wing having an inner courtyard. The good thing with Louvre is that the museum is placed right in the heart of Paris city and comprises of three wings all constructed in a semi-rectangular style. Richelieu and Denon are larger in comparison to the Sully Wing and take a lot of walking to navigate back and forth.
The first floor of the Denon Wing features the Mona Lisa housed on Glass. The room that displays the painting by Leonardo Da Vinci is often referred to as the Mona Lisa Room by most of the visitors on group tours. However, there are many other breakthrough collections housed by the department of paintings, including Italian and European sculptures, Italian and Spanish artworks, French artworks and antiques, as well as ancient Roman sculptures. One of Denon Wing’s highlights is ‘Galerie Michel Ange’ which houses masterpiece works by Michelangelo himself and Giambologna on the ground floor.
The gallery offers a breathtaking look to the inside portions of the museum featuring marble floors. At the end of the gallery, you would reach a massive staircase leading up to the section for paintings, and at times even underneath which exhibits Italian relics and Gothic looking sculptures as per schedule. Spanning the majority of the first floor of Denon Wing, the Italian painting collection would bring joy to your senses, especially the ‘Grand Galerie,’ which displays collections having religious undertones.
Exploring Parisian History
Parallel to the ‘Grand Galerie’ are halls, which house French paintings. You would be amazed by the monumental size of the artworks that depicts Napoleonic era artworks, and works by Eugene Delacroix, which traces back to the French Revolution. Paris city has a dedicated museum for Delacroix at the 6 Rue de Furstenberg – the French artist resting in the Père Lachaise Cemetery is one of the icons of Parisian history.
When you visit the museum, you should also find the Spanish paintings right on the end of the ‘Grand Galerie’, which finds many of the public drifting from place to place. You should also visit the Ancient sculptures from the Roman Empire in the Denon Wing all the way up to the terrace housing mosaics, columns, and sculptures. This particular section houses many of the exquisitely rendered rooms in the Louvre museum.
To make your navigation easier, make it a point to visit the Apollo Gallery and gape at the winder that is the ornate Fresco ceilings having carvings. If you are up for the challenge of exploring both Denon and Richelieu together, you may even have gas left in the tank to see the Sully. The wing is home to the Egyptian remains, Iranian artworks, Greek antiques and other remains from the fortress that lasted thus far.