Paris II - Louvre and Orsay
Paris Travel Blog› entry 28 of 32 › view all entries
That day was intended to feel the cultural heritage of France. Where to go? Musee de Louvre and Musee d'Orsay. I know. They are the tip of the iceberg. But if you don't see the tip of the iceberg, you never really know how big is the iceberg. As you might have expected, we were quite determined to go these two famous museums. Am I a museum buff? Partly so. I would not deny that. And one more. Notre dame de Paris. There we got to see the window of Rose.
If you arrive at Louvre, a beautiful transparent tetrahedon entrance will greet you. This has been demonstrated so many times in the movies of Da vinci code sort, so I would not describe its aesthetic point. There is an escalator which you use to go down, and there are Denon and Sully halls. Here what we wanted to see was a set of three masterpieces. One is the statue of Nike, the other is the smile of Mona lisa, and finally the Michaelangelo's the Slave. Interestingly enough, none of them are actually French cultural heritage in their origin. It would not be a lie if one takes time then it might take more than three months to look all the exhibitions. The vast amount of collection which Louvre has been shown a bit by bit, so we actually didn't want to go around all the exhibitions they had at the time. Rather we wanted to feel the scale and system which French had built up to cover and maintain those precious cultural heritages in general. I would not like argue what is going on in Egyptian or Greek exhibition rooms, where those all the wall paintings from Assiria or Mesopotamian area. Rather I would like to say they are quite well preserved. It is out of question that France had only two crises since its opening in Napoleon I's reign, which were WW1 and WW2. This was enough to provide the stable and safe environment for masterpieces as we can easily think of losing those precious pieces during wars in middle east and other areas of Europe. However, I would not argue about the feelings of Greek or Egyptians to have their own heritages back as they are theirs. Interestingly, the admission fee was 45 Francs, which was not that cheap and surprisingly, we did not get any discount as students. Perhaps that is the only time which we did not get the discount in Europe.
I bought an DVD decribing the lifestyle of medieval knights of France, and also bought guide book for Paris and Louvre as souvenirs. They were quite helpful. Lucky enough, we saw all the materpieces we wanted to see. We headed to Notre dame de Paris. The window of rose was the most beautiful stainedglasses. It is a pity that I could not upload the picture of it right now, but certainly the constructor knew how the stainedglasses would affect divine feelings of congregation in the church. We donated about 5 francs of coins when we got out of the church, and bought a medal which has the church on the front side. I remember it was about 10 francs.
The last big destination of the day was Musee d'Orsay. Here you will see all the impressionist paintings. Gogh, Courbet, Delacrouix, Modigliani, Renoir, Monet. I would not mention more as they are limitless amoutn of paintings housed in excellent condition. Interestingly, this museum was renovated from a station. It feels like steel but what is inside is the most human - art. It opened in 1889 if my recollection is correct.
The moment I saw the portrait of Dr.Gachet, or the house of Orly, it was quite a moment as that was the first time I saw all those masterpieces at one place. Felt like the room was full of artistic talent and you can't breathe. Although many of these masterpieces never came back to Euorpe from America since WW2, they still have incomparable amount of collection naturally. If not WW2 and lots of money, we might have to visit Louvre and Musee d'Orsay all the way down from America more often if you like to see the paintings of impressionists, not to mention other popular heritages of old ages. We spent three hours all together and it was about dinner time, my aunt was waiting for us. She took us to a french restaurant in France finally, and what a treat. We just had so nice dinner and good conversations about what we saw on that day. Paintings, architecture, response from French in the streets, and art in general. More than anything else, the food was absolutely wonderful.