Avoid seeing Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, or the Winged Victory during peak times as they can get very busy. Try during lunch hours or later in the evening!
You enter through a transparent pyramid of glass and descend into a catalogue of riches from the past three thousand years.
The palace, originally a fortress under Philip II, became a museum in 1793 in the aftermath of the French revolution; an egalitarian statement to the French people. The building has been of importance under every ruler since its founding in the late twelfth century - Napoleon even renamed it the Musée Napoleon and hung the Mona Lisa in his bedroom.
The Louvre comprises three wings — the Richelieu, the Sully, and the Denon — arranged in a horseshoe, with the Pyramid, designed by the venerable Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei, situated in the middle.
To see everything, you’d have to spend one hundred days in the museum, moving from exhibit to exhibit every thirty seconds... so we hope you’ll agree a tour guide might be useful to see only the best artworks and artefacts.
The Louvre’s raison d’être is largely to present French and Italian art from the Middle Ages up to about 1850, as well as artefacts from other civilisations that contextualise the beginnings of Western art. Islamic art, Egyptian antiquities, Etruscan and Greek artefacts - it’s all here.
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