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Travel Guide Europe France Île-de-France Paris Louvre

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Introduction

Le Louvre

Le Louvre

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The Louvre is one of the biggest and most famous museums in the world. Amongst the collection you find the most famous portrait ever created: The Mona Lisa. But the Louvre is much more that just the Mona Lisa. The museum was opened in 1793, and is one of the oldest museums in the world. Musée du Louvre draws millions of people each year. The museum is located at 34-36 quai du Louvre, in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre).

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Opening Hours

Museum Opening Hours

  • Daily except Tuesday: 9:00am to 6:00pm (rooms begin closing at 5:30pm)
  • Extended hours: Wednesday and Friday, until 09:45pm (rooms begin closing at 9:15pm)
  • Pyramid and Galerie du Carrousel entrances: daily (except Tuesday) from 9:00am to 7:30pm and from 9:00am to 10:00pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Passage Richelieu entrances: daily (except Tuesday) from 9:00am to 5:30pm (6:30pm on Wednesdays and Fridays)
  • Porte des Lions entrances: entrance may be closed for technical reasons. Please contact us the day before your visit at +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17
  • Holiday closure: 1 January, 1 May, 25 December
  • Pre-holiday hours: 24 December and 31 December at 5:00pm

Hall Napoléon and Temporary Exhibitions

  • Daily except Tuesday: 9:00am to 10:00pm
  • Temporary exhibition: 9:00am to 6:00pm (Wednesday and Friday until 10:00pm)

Special opening hours may be applicable for different temporary exhibitions.

Room Closure

As the museum does not have enough staff to keep the entire museum open on a daily basis, certain rooms are open and closed for only particular day of the week. In order to facilitate restorative works, certain rooms also may not open to visits until further notice. Check with reception for a list of room closure.

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Cost

From October to March, admission to the Louvre is free on the first Sunday of every month for the permanent collection only. It does not include the temporary exhibitions in the Hall Napoléon. Free admission to the permanent collection for all visitors is also available on 14 July and during La Nuit des Musées.

Permanent Collections

  • Standard ticket: €15 - all day access to the Louvre, except temporary exhibitions in the Hall Napoléon; also valid for the Musée Eugène Delacroix.
  • Reduced ticket: €6 - Wednesday and Friday late openings, from 6;00pm to 9:45pm, access to the Louvre, except for temporary exhibitions in the Hall Napoléon.

Temporary Exhibition: Hall Napoléon

  • Standard ticket: €11 - valid for temporary exhibitions only.

Combined Ticket

  • Standard combined ticket: €15 - valid to the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions in both the Louvre and the Musée Eugène Delacroix.
  • Reduced combined ticket: €12 - Wednesday and Friday late openings, from 6.00 pm to 9.45 pm, access to permanent collections and temporary exhibitions in the Louvre.

Paris Museum Pass

Holders of a valid Paris Museum Pass have access to the permanent collections in Louvre without requiring further queuing. This pass is also valid to the permanent collections of over 50 museums and monuments in Paris and Île de France. The pass costs €48 for 2 days, €62 for 4 days, and €74 for 6 days. The pass may be purchased from participating museums and monuments, La Civette du Carrousel (the tabac at Carrousel du Louvre), FNAC stores, the Office of Tourism, and the airport's tourist information area.

Other Conditions for Free Admission

  • Visitors under the age of 18.
  • Visitors between the ages of 18 and 25 who are legal residence of the European Union, regardless of their nationality.
  • Teachers of art, art history, and the applied arts (valid proof required).
  • Primary and secondary school teachers in French public schools and private schools receiving government subsidies.
  • Artists affiliated to the Maison des Artistes (in France) or the AIAP (Association Internationale des Arts Plastiques).
  • Unemployed individuals and visitors receiving benefits (proof of entitlement required, dated within the last six months).
  • Disabled visitors and their guests or helpers.

Acceptable proofs for teachers and youth under 26 years old for presentation at the museum ticket windows:

  • Under-26s: official ID (passport, identity card, college/university ID).
  • Teachers: teacher ID (delivered by your school or rectorat) and official ID (if teacher ID does not include a photo).

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Works of Art

Introduction

The collection of the Louvre can be seperated in 8 core collections:

  • Egyptian antiquities
  • Near Eastern antiquities
  • Greek, Etruscan, and Roman antiquities
  • Islamic Arts
  • Sculptures
  • Decorative arts
  • Paintings
  • Prints and drawings

Mona Lisa (La Gioconda / La Joconde)

DSCN2828

DSCN2828

© All Rights Reserved missmary88

Mona Lisa is a 16th century portrait by the great Renaissance artist, Leonardo Da Vinci. It is perhaps the most famous and iconic painting in the world, depicting a woman whose expression is often described as enigmatic. It is not a big painting, measuring only 77 cm × 53 cm in size. It is signposted in French as "La Joconde" at the Louvre, as a nod to the official title of this masterpiece - "Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo".

In this portrait, the woman depicted has her gaze fixed on the observer (while being closely observed in real life by the visitors to the Louvre), with a faint yet emblematic smile on her face. She appears to be seated to pose for this portrait in an open loggia, and the background scenery consists of a landscape that recedes to icy mountains, rivers and lake, and winding paths and a distant bridge. This evokes a sense of serenity and oneness between human and nature.

Mona Lisa is currently located within the museum's Denon wing in Salle 6, and it is displayed behind a bullet-proof glass enclosure that is also climate-controlled in order to maintain the remarkable state of preservation of this painting.

Venus de Milo

Venus

Venus

© All Rights Reserved davidb

The Venus de Milo is an ancient Greek statue made of marble, which is assumed to depict the Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of Love and Beauty. Therefore she is also known under the name the Aphrodite of Milos. The statue was found at the ruins of the city of Milos, on the Island of Milos.

At the time of the discovery of the statue a French naval officer happened to be on the island, and uncovered the statue together with its finder, who eventually sold the statue to the French. It was already sold to Turkey, but the French ambassador arrived just in time to persuade the seller to sell it to the French. The statue was found in two large pieces, and a couple of smaller pieces including the left arm, holding an apple. Upon arrival in the Louvre it was however agreed that the left arm was from a later restoration. Also the plinth that came with the statue was dismissed as being real, as by that time most the 'experts' believed the statue was crafted by Praxiteles, but the plinth told them differently, and spoke of (Alex)andros son of Menides being the creator of the statue. Just before the statue was presented to Louis XVIII, the plinth disappeared and was never recovered.

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Winged Victory of Samothrace

© All Rights Reserved jenniesue

Also known as Nike of Samothrace, this Greek marble sculpture has been prominently exhibited at the Louvre since 1884 atop the Daru staircase. The sculpture originally formed part of the Samothrace temple complex. This beautiful Hellenistic sculpture is believed to be created in honour of the Goddess of Victory but also to honour a sea battle, most likely the naval victory by Rhodes which at that time was the most powerful maritime state in the Aegean (this evidence indicated by a partial inscription on the base of the sculpture, including the word "Rhodhios").

The Victory, despite its significant damage and incompleteness, exhibits a true naturalistic pose with fine rendering of its draped garments. Its outstretched wings are symmetrical, and with the loss of the head and the arms, in a way act to enhance the statue's depiction of power and pride. The sculpture of the complete Victory was of Nike with her right arm raised to cup around her mouth in the delivery of the shout of victory. While the head and the arms have never been found, other fragments including the right hand and some fingers have been recovered on separate excavation expeditions, and have since been reunited and displayed in a glass case adjacent to the podium where the status stands.

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Getting There

By Métro

Station: Palais-Royal - Musée du Louvre (Métro line 1).

By Car

Underground parking garage: entrance on avenue du Général Lemonnier, open daily from 7:00am to 11:00pm.

By Bus

Buses that stop in front of the Pyramid: 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95, and the Paris Open Tour bus.

By Boat

Batobus stop: Louvre (quai François Mitterrand)

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Eat

The area provides rather a wide range of eating possibilities, considering its central location and overall poshness. A large variety of inexpensive food is sold out of windows and stalls, especially on the car-free east end of the arrondissement near Les Halles. You'll always pay a bit more to sit down, of course.

On the other hand if you are looking for a nice posh place to take your mom or a date there are plenty, and some of them actually have food that is good enough to be worth the considerable prices.

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Drink

  • Bar Hemingway, 15 Place Vendôme (In the Hôtel Ritz; Métro: Pyramides), ☎ +33 1 43 16 33 65, fax: +33 1 43 16 33 75. Hemingway tried to drink here once per week even before he made it big. In August 1944 Hemingway made a booze-powered drive into Paris ahead of the advancing Free French 2nd Tank Division to "liberate the Ritz", and specifically the bar which was shortly thereafter renamed in his honour. Today the bar is considered by many to be one of the best bars in the world, in no small part due to the bar-tending skills of Colin Field, who creates elaborate cocktails as a fine art, and with the rest of the staff is skilled at bringing his guests together in conversation. Expect to pay €30 or more per drink.
  • Café Oz (Café Oz Châtelet), 18, rue Saint Denis (Metro: Chatelet), ☎ +33 1 40 39 00 18, e-mail: chatelet@australian-bar.com. You probably didn't think you were coming to Paris to sample Australian culture, but if after a long day of strolling from one end of the city to another you would just like to let go a bit and meet up with some fellow anglophones then you could do a lot worse than this almost legendarily hard-partying Aussie joint (ask the neighbours). Warning: as with other Aussie places in Paris for some reason, weekend nights here tend to bring out hoards of young single Frenchmen looking to chat up some (any) visiting sheilas. This has been known to lead to, um, confrontations. €7 pints.
  • Juvénile's, 47, rue Richelieu, ☎ +33 1 42 97 46 49. The bistro serves many different wines from around the world and tapas. You can buy a bottle to take home if you like it.
  • Willi's Wine Bar, 13, rue des Petits Champs, ☎ +33 1 42 61 05 09. It's actually a restaurant and is more upscale than Juvéniles, serving good food and good-to-great bottles of wine with a focus on the Rhône Valley, but including many from Burgundy, the Loire, as well as Italians, and "Atlantic crossing" Californians. The dinner menu by chef François Yon Great won the "Bib Gourmet 2009" award, and there are cheeses & desserts (yummy crumble) for after. Reservations recommended. €20.50-35.

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Sleep

Some of the most opulent hotels in the world are either in or very close to the Louvre, and there's some choice in the mid-range. Budget travellers, on the other hand, are probably better off in other, less central parts of town.

During fashion weeks, hotels, especially the 1st, are occupied by trade professionals and visitors, as well as brand showrooms. Finding a room can be a challenge and the rates go sky-high. Consult Mode à Paris for fashion week dates and avoid them if you do not want to clash with it.

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This is version 22. Last edited at 9:33 on Aug 10, 17 by Utrecht. 9 articles link to this page.

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