Musée du Louvre was the place I wanted to visit the most – because I have read the Da Vinci Code and I love art and history, and Louvre was the last place we went to on our guided trip in Paris on that Saturday. We were already exhausted, so we didn’t have that much energy to see anything in Louvre, which was a pity!! If I ever go back to Paris, I have to spend a whole day in Louvre only 😉
The history of Louvre goes back to the 12th century – in the year 1190 where the king of that time Phillipe III, wanted to build a fortress to protect his beloved city Paris. Moreover, to protect the junction at Seine a castle was build, and this became Le Louvre. At that time Louvre was not a royal residence, but over time as the district surrounding Louvre grew, which took away the defensive interest, and the kings of France who liked to travel across their residences where likely to be find staying at Louvre more and more. So the castle underwent a big change over time.
During the French Revolution, a massive change happened and the king on that period – King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were imprisoned in Palais du Tuilleries. They were beheaded in 1793, and the same year the French National Assembly declared the Louvre as museum – with a collection of only 537 paintings, but eventually closed three years later due to some structural problems in the building. Napoléon Bonaparte reopened the museum in 1801 with an expanded collection of art, but under the name Musée Napoléon. Napoléon contributed with many spoils from Belgium, Italy, Austria and Prussia. After the time of Napoléon Louvre continued to expand.
Today you can see more than 35.000 works from the 6th century BC to the 19th century AD; including Leonardo Da Vinci’s moooooost famous work, Mona Lisa.
In 1988, the famous Pyramid (the main entrance) and the underground lobby were inaugurated. The architect I. M. Pei designed this. In 1993 the Inverted Pyramid was revealed.
Knowing the great history of Louvre and that it is the largest museum in the world, I feel a bit sad that we didn’t have the energy to see its collection. However, we saw Mona Lisa and some of the works in Pavillon Denon Level 1, where Mona Lisa and other beautiful, great Italian, French and Spanish paintings and the Gallerie d’Apollon (we did not see this though).
Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous work – La Mona Lisa. A small lady, by the way 😉
All those poor people who try to get a picture of or a selfie with Mona Lisa..
Here, “The Wedding Feast at Cana” by Paolo Veronese – from 1563. It depicts the biblical story Marriage at Cana where Jesus converted water into wine. This is the largest paiting on Louvre.
The painting Virgin and Jesus with St. Elizabeth and St. Michael. Not sure if it a work by Leonardo da Vinci, but it’s from 1508-1512.
The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel – located west of Louvre in Place du Carrousel. It was built to commemorate Napoléon Bonaparte’s military victories between 1806 and 1808, but is only about half the size of Arc de Triopmhe d’Étoile.
Visiting Musée du Louvre during a guided tour was okay to get a first impression of the museum, but there’s definitely not enough time to get a closer look on anything and there’s no energy, because you walk a lot during the tour. If I ever go back to Paris, I’d have to spent a whole day in Louvre and another day in Musée d’Orsay, which we didn’t visit this time by the way.