Louvre Museum is one of the world’s largest museums located in Paris the capital of France. In French this museum is called Musée du Louvre. This museum covers an area of 60,600 square meters and exhibits around 35,000 artifacts. The museum is visited by more than 9.7 million visitors every year making it the world’s most visited museum. You will find celebrated artworks including the most famous painting the Monalisa, the statue of Venus de Milo, and the Victory of Samothrace. Louvre Museum is situated in 1st arrondissement, the heart of Paris and at the right bank of Seine River. It is one of the major tourist attractions of France. Visit this wonderful place to see the amazing and beautiful collections ever compiled by men.
You can enter the museum through three entrances Pyramid and Galerie du Carrousel entrances, Passage Richelieu entrance, and Porte des Lions entrance.
Louvre Museum is housed in Louvre Palace that was built as a fortress erected by Philippe Auguste in 12th century AD. Later in 1546, Francis I demolished the castle and built another royal residence the Louvre. The king was a great art collector and he collected artworks and kept it in this palace. The collections were further added, and the building was innovated by every later French Monarchs. Notable among them was the emperor Louis XIV, who acquired spectacular art collections. In 1682, Louis XIV moved his residence from the Louvre to palace of Versailles. The Louvre then became the place for private royal collections. In the 18th century the palace was turned to museum for public visit. The building had undergone many modifications. Now, you will find a famous glass pyramid constructed by Pei. This pyramidal construction is surrounded by Tuileries Gardens, which add beauty to the museum.
The collections of Louvre span from 6th century BC to 19th century AD. The popular works include Leonardo da Vinci’s Monalisa, armless statue of the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory, the Nike of Samothrace, Code of Hammurabi, the Dying Slave, Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, and Liberty Leading the People. Louvre Museum presents collections that are divided in various departments.
Egyptian Antiquities Department: exhibits around 5,000 artifacts. The collections include stone coffin, sculpture of sphinx, vases, sanctuaries, and many more.
Oriental Antiquities Department: exhibits artworks of various civilization of Middle East including Iran, Mesopotamia, Cyprus, and Palestine.
Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities Department: exhibits artwork of Mediterranean Basin from Neolithic to 6th century AD.
Paintings Department: exhibits artworks from 13th to 19th Century. The paintings are from Italy, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Netherlands.
Sculptures Department: exhibits European sculptures from middle ages, Renaissance, and modern period. These sculptures are made up of stone, marble, and bronze.
Prints and Drawings Department: exhibits 13,000 prints and drawing from the 14th to 19th century.
Art Items Department: exhibits art items from end of antique period to mid 19th century. The artwork includes tapestries, furniture, ivories, glass, porcelain, jewelry, and silver and gold items.
Apart from these departments, there are sections devoted to Louvre history. There are 21 rooms that contain collections of Spanish and Italian paintings.
The Louvre Museum is divided into three wings: Denon, Richelieu, and Sully. These wings can be visited through the entrance the Louvre Pyramid or Carrousel du Louvre.
Denon Wings: It is the most crowded of the three wings. In this wing you will find the Mona Lisa portrait, Wedding Feast at Cana, and Winged Victory of Samothrace marble statue. You will also find huge collection of Roman and Etruscan antiquities as well as Renaissance sculptures. The statue of ‘Psyche Revived by Cupid Kiss’ by Antonio Canova and ‘Dying Slave’ by Michelangelo is the two famous sculptures. The ground floor of Denon Wings has eight rooms and contains artifacts from various continents. The lower ground floor contains medieval sculptures from Europe.
Richelieu Wing: The artifacts in this wing are placed on various floors. The ground floor contains antiques from near east. This place has the famous stele the Code of Hammurabi that inscribed the Babylon law code. The lower ground floor and the ground floor contain the great collections of sculptures. These are arranged in courtyards covered with glass. The first floor contains decorative art collection that includes furniture, clocks, and wall hangings. The second floor of Richelieu wing has European painting from middle ages to 19th century. The notable works include Lacemaker and Virgin of Chancellor Rolin.
Sully Wing: This is the oldest wing of Louvre. In this wing you will find the statue of Venus of Milo, the Seated Scribe, and huge statue of Pharaoh. The lower ground floor contains leftovers of the medieval castle of Louvre. The ground and first floor exhibits large collection of Egyptian antiquities. The second floor showcases collections of French drawings, paintings, and print. The most famous among them is the erotic ‘Turkish Bath’ painting.
Louvre for Disabled
The museum also provides aid to visitors with special needs thorough ‘Tourisme et Handicap’ label. These visitors can include persons who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, mentally or physically challenged. The museum has tactile space and Braille documentation for visually impaired. Disabled people can use a special map to move in the Louvre Museum. In addition, deaf people can visit conferences in sign language that are presented each month. The ticket office and auditorium is fitted with induction loops for hearing assistance.
Guided Walking Tours
Louvre Museum is very large and it is not feasible to see the museum and its collections in few hours. You need to visit the museum for many days in order to see the artworks exhaustively. What you can do in your first visit is to view the must-see artworks. In subsequent visits you can target to specific department of a particular wing. This will help you to cover all the sections without repetitions.
For those who are new and are not familiar with the location can take guided walking tour in groups. This tour is available in English and French. You have the option to visit the most famous artworks of Louvre Museum. Also you can select a particular theme of visit. If you are interested in specific collection then you can choose that collection for your guided walking tour.
An alternative to group tour is by using an Audioguide. You can rent the Audioguide that is available in different languages. These languages include English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, and Italian.
To get to the museum you can take Palais Royal metro to Musee du Louvre (line1). For those who wish to reach this place by bus can take the bus lines 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95. In addition, one can also take the Paris Open Tour bus. You can also reach the Louvre via river through river boat. Louvre also has indoor parking so you can park your own vehicle.
Apart from viewing the magnificent artworks you can also shop and dine in the museum complex. You can visit ‘Le Grand Louvre’ restaurant just below the pyramid for gourmet. Go to ‘Café Denon’ on the lower ground floor for snacks and meals. Reach to ‘Café Richelieu’ on the second floor of the museum for cold or hot drinks, sandwiches, and salads. Bibliophiles can visit ‘Hall Napoleon’ Louver bookshop present beneath the pyramid. In this bookshop you will find children’s books, guide books, art history titles, and engravings.
You can visit the museum on all days except Tuesdays and public holidays including 1st of January, 1st of May, 11th of November, and 25th of December. The timing for the museum is from 09:00 to 18:00 on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday; and 09:00 to 21:45 on Wednesday and Friday. Rooms of Louvre close 30 minutes prior to the museum’s closing time. The entry fee for the museum above 18 years is 12 Euros for permanent collections and no charge for visitors below 18 years or disabled people. Those who are interested to see exhibitions in Hall Napoleon can purchase a combined ticket of 16 Euros. This combined ticket will allow you to see exhibitions and permanent collections in both Musee Eugene Delacroix and the Louvre. If you want to avoid long queues at the pyramid you should purchase the tickets in advance. The ticket windows accept cash (euro) or bank cards only.