Arts in Paris

Paris Travel Blog

 › entry 13 of 13 › view all entries
The Pyramide at the Louvre (remind you of Cleveland?!)

We awoke on our next day in Paris with our sights set on one place - The Louvre.  Since it had been free on Bastille Day, there was a HUGE line, and we were not able to use our museum passes to get past the line.  We decided to wait until today to enter and explore.  After a quick ("simple") petit dejeuner of tartine, we took the Metro back to the Louvre stop.

After finding our way into the Louvre (using the Richelieu entrance for pass holders and groups), we entered the main lobby. It's underground and sits directly below I. M. Pei's huge Pyramide.  We grabbed an English map (plan in French).  Our first stop was the Sully wing, which houses the vast Egyptian artifacts.

View of the Louvre from inside the Pyramide.
  Just getting to the wing is a bit of a walk, this began to give us an idea of how big the Louvre really is.

We entered the Sully wing, and started walking through the Medieval moat which is on the lower floor.  The Louvre itself is an incredibly historic building, since it's been built over 800 years!  During the latest renovation (including the Pyramide), remnants of a Medieval castle were unearthed.  You walk through the moat and parts of the dungeon on the way to the Sully wing.

After walking through the castle ruins, we headed towards the Egyptian artifacts.  The size of the Louvre's Egyptian holdings is only second to those in Egypt.  There are incredibly well preserved hieroglyphics on large slabs which were extracted from tombs.

Walls of the Medieval castle underneath the Louvre
  Some of these are over 3000 years old, which is astonishing when you stop to think about it.  There are also hundreds of artifacts - tools, mirrors, jewelry, etc. which paint a picture of this civilation from ages ago.  Seeing so many of these together has such a great impact - you really can imagine the society!

After spending quite a bit of time touring the Egyptian collection, we picked up the pace and wandered a bit though nearby collections - Mesopotamia, and Greece.  There we saw one of the Louvre's "Big 3" - the "Venus de Milo" (also known as Aphrodite, since the statue really portrays the Greek goddess).  After touring a bit more Greek sculptures, we decided to head to lunch.  However, we had to hit one more of the Big 3 (probably the "Big 1") - the Mona Lisa.

The Venus de Milo (Aphrodite) in the Louvre.
  After winding our way into the European art galleries (into the Denon wing), we found our way to the hall which houses Da Vinci's most famous painting.  When you see it, you'll probably think "what's the big deal" - it's fairly small.  However, it's an important piece of art for several reasons - it represents the style of painting (sfumato, meaning somewhat "muted") that Da Vinci had mastered, and paved the way for the impressionists that would follow.  It also has a legend that makes it famous - it was stolen from the Louvre twice, and Da Vinci himself used the Mona Lisa to generate his own "fame" in his time.

After viewing the Mona Lisa, we headed to the nearby cafe (on the balcony of the Richelieu wing) that overlooks the grand courtyard outside the Louvre.  It was pretty expensive, but it was worth it (especially considering that we took over 2 hours for lunch, in typical Parisian timeframe) for both the food and the view.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The Pyramide at the Louvre (remind…
The Pyramide at the Louvre (remin…
View of the Louvre from inside the…
View of the Louvre from inside th…
Walls of the Medieval castle under…
Walls of the Medieval castle unde…
The Venus de Milo (Aphrodite) in t…
The Venus de Milo (Aphrodite) in …
Mona Lisa smiles for us
Mona Lisa smiles for us
Pate canard (duck) as a first cour…
Pate canard (duck) as a first cou…
Penne et tomate and beef carpaccio
Penne et tomate and beef carpaccio
Inside the Napolean apartments in …
Inside the Napolean apartments in…
Napolean apartments in the Louvre
Napolean apartments in the Louvre
Vintage Metro sign outside the Lou…
Vintage Metro sign outside the Lo…
Don relaxes on the patio at the Ho…
Don relaxes on the patio at the H…
Rob awaits pizza on the St. Martin…
Rob awaits pizza on the St. Marti…
Dinner of pizza and wine on the St…
Dinner of pizza and wine on the S…
St. Martin Canal at night
St. Martin Canal at night
9,942 km (6,178 miles) traveled
Sponsored Links
Paris
photo by: Sweetski