Destination Museum: The Louvre, Paris

Located in Paris, the Musée du Louvre, also known simply as, The Louvre, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in France, and is among the largest museums in the world. The Musee du Louvre is also the most visited art museum on the planet, and houses some of the most unique and impressive ancient art collections in history. The Musee du Louvre wraps around the central square which is known as, the Cour Napoléon. It’s in this central square where you’ll find the famous glass pyramid which was inaugurated in the year 1988. Although the glass pyramid was a bit controversial in the beginning, it’s now accepted, and is considered to be one of the top landmarks in Paris.

The Musee du Louvre museum originally opened in the year 1793 with about 537 paintings; most of the works were royal, while others were confiscated church property. Due to the building’s structural problems, the museum got closed in the year 1796, until the year 1801. The collections were increased under the rule of Napoleon, and the museum was temporarily renamed Musee Napoléon; however, after Napoleon’s abdication, many of the works which had been seized by his army, were all returned to their owners. The museum’s collection was later on increased under Louis XVIII, and the reign of Charles X, and also during the 2nd French Empire; when the museum gained over 20,000 pieces.

Today, The Louvre houses over 35,000 works of art which are drawn from 8 departments, they include; Roman, Etruscan and Greek antiques, Egyptian antiquities, Decorative arts, Near Eastern Antiquities, Paintings, Islamic art, Sculptures, and Drawings. The Musee du Louvre’s painting collections are among the richest on the planet, representing all the periods of European art works, up to the 1848 Revolutions. The Louvre collection of spectacular French paintings (from 15th century to 19th century), is unsurpassed in the entire world, and also has lots of masterpieces by various Italian Renaissance painters, and Dutch painters of Baroque period.

Musee du Louvre’s most famous work is Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci; she enchants all visitors with her absolutely enigmatic smile. This rather, small yet iconic painting is covered with a bulletproof glass and is flanked by guards; this is as a result of it getting stolen in the year 1911, and then recovered 2 years later, in 1913. Other famous works of art found in the Louvre include, but not limited to; the Venus de Milo statue, a statuette of Sumerian ruler Gudea, Victory of Samothrace, the 2 marble Slaves created Michelangelo, the French crown diamonds, treasure of abbey of Saint Denis, and Pietà of Avignon

Best Time of Year to Visit

Summer, winter, fall or spring there is never a bad time to visit Musee du Louvre, or Paris for that matter. That being said, the ideal time basically depends on your particular budget and what you wish to see. The best time to visit Musee du Louvre is usually between June and August, when the weather in Paris is perfect. However, during early spring or the fall, you will get to enjoy lower prices and the weather is also decent. The Louvre is usually open every day apart from Tuesday and certain holidays, like Christmas Day, International Worker’s Day and New Year’s Day.

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