Louvre Paris France

Louvre Paris France (officially “Grand Louvre“) is the world’s most visited museum and also one of the largest museums on the planet.

Louvre is, in fact, one of the most established landmarks in central Paris, on the banks of the Seine river.

There are a total of 35,000 art objects in the Louvre collection, ranging from the pre-historic period to the 19th century…

…within an exhibition space covering 60,600 square meters (652,000 sq.ft, you need to plan your visit to get the most out of the museum!).

Louvre museum Paris France

PHOTO: Louvre’s Cour Napoleon square, with the famous glass pyramid in the middle. You’ll find the Louvre visitor center directly under the pyramid.

Glass pyramid Louvre art museum Paris France

PHOTO: There are, in fact, several glass pyramids in Louvre, including an inverse glass pyramid, “La Pyramide Inversée“…a natural light source for the underground Carrousel du Louvre shopping center (www.carrouseldulouvre.com, adjacent to the museum).

Arc de Triomphe du Caroussel Paris France

PHOTO: From Champs-Elysees, the route to Louvre goes through Jardin des Tuileries and the pictured Arc de Triomphe Caroussel (from 1808). The triumphal arc is a monument celebrating Napoleon’s military victories in 1805.

Sun King Louis XIV statue Louvre Paris France

PHOTO: Louvre Cours Napoleon highlights include an equestrian statue for Sun King Louis XIV (pictured). Louis XIV lived at Louvre palace until moving to Versailles, in 1678.

Louvre Paris France museum is located at the Louvre palace, at a location that originally had a 12th century castle. In fact, you can still see some of the castle’s foundations in the area.

Since it was completed 1546, the Louvre palace has had several reconstructions, to upgrade the place to be more suitable as a royal residence.

The palace remained as the primary official residence for the rulers of France until 1672…

….when King Louis XIV moved his court to the Versailles palace, leaving Louvre to be used as an exhibition space for the royal family’s art collection.

Louvre has been operating as a public museum from 1793, initially with an art collection of 537 paintings.

The collection’s size expanded, however, very rapidly, especially underNapoleon Bonaparte’s reign…partly why the museum was temporarily, at one time, renamed “Musée Napoléon”.

Today, the museum’s collections are divided into 8 sections:

  • Egyptian antiques,
  • Middle Eastern antiques,
  • ancient Greek, Etruscan, and ancient Roman antiques,
  • Islamic art,
  • sculptures,
  • decorative arts,
  • paintings, and
  • prints & drawings.

World-famous, “must see” highlights in the collections include…

  • “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci,
  • the marble “Venus de Milo” statue, and
  • the Nike of Samothrake.

Due to the massive size of the museum and its collections, it’s a good idea to plan your visit beforehand.

One of the best guides to the museum is the official site, at www.louvre.fr.

To get to the Louvre art museum, you can take the Paris Metro, with lines M1 and M7 having a station closeby, the “Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre“.