Louvre is the world's largest palace and largest museum
and one of it's most stunning at night when illuminated,
by 70,000 discreet lightbulbs - is the product of
Originally built by Philippe-Auguste in the 13th century
asa fortress, it was not until the reign of pleasure-loving
François I, 300 years later, that today's Louvre
gradually began to take shape.
The Louvre's recent history center on I.M. Pei's glass
pyramid, surrounded by three smaller pyramids in the
Cour Napoléon. Unveiled in March of 1989, it's
more than just a grandiloquent gesture, a desire on
the part of the late president François Mitterrand,
who commisioned it , to make his mark on the city,
The pyramid provided a new, and much needed,
entrance to the Louvre; it also tops a large museum
shop, café, and restaurant. Moreover, it acts
as the terminal point for the most celebrated city
view in Europe, a majestic vista streching through
the Arc du Carrousel, the Tuileries Gardens, across
Palace de la Concorde, up the Champs-Élysées
to the towering Arc de Triomphe, and ending at the
giant modern arch at La Défense.
The Louvre's extraordinary
collections encompass paintings, drawings, antiquities,
sculpture, furniture, coins, and jewelry - the quality
and the sheer variety are overwhelming. The number-one
attractionis Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa
(La Joconde to the French) The picture is
smaller than you might expect and kept behind protective
glass; it is invariably surrounded by a crowd of worshipers.
But there are numerous other works of equal quality.
The collections are divided into seven areas: Asian
antiquities, Egyptian antiquities, Greek and Roman
antiquities, sculpture, objets d' art, paintings,
and prints and drawings. What follows is no more than
a selection of favorites, chosen to act as a key points
Hours: Mon and Wed 9:00 a.m
- 9:45 p.m.
- Sunday 9:00 a.m - 6:00 p.m.