Louvre Museum is a symbol of the evolution of French culture in all its glory. Nestled gracefully on the banks of the Seine, the Louvre stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of artistic expression. Its sprawling structure, dating back centuries, has witnessed the passage of time, standing tall through moments of war and peace. With its glittering central pyramid and distinction as the largest art museum in the world, the Louvre has become one of Paris' most treasured attractions, drawing visitors from around the globe. Stepping into the Louvre is like entering a portal to the heart of human creativity. Its extraordinary collection, spanning centuries of art and culture, has left generations of viewers in awe.
The museum houses some of the most celebrated masterpieces known to humanity. Among its vast treasures, visitors can marvel at the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa, the graceful form of the Venus de Milo, and the dynamic beauty of the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Each step through the Louvre's corridors and galleries reveals a new chapter in art history, with works from diverse cultures and eras coming together to create a tapestry of human imagination.
The Louvre's journey from a fortress to an art sanctuary is a testament to its remarkable evolution. Originally constructed as a fortress in the 12th century to protect Paris from Viking invasions, it later became the residence of French monarchs in 1546. However, during the tumultuous French Revolution in 1789, a decision was made to transform the Louvre into a national art museum. This pivotal moment marked the beginning of the Louvre's transformation into a world-renowned institution, revered as a holy shrine of art. Today, the Louvre boasts a staggering collection of over 380,000 artworks, although only a fraction&mdasharound 35,000&mdashare displayed in its permanent exhibition. These works span eight departments, each dedicated to a specific genre or era of art. The Egyptian Antiquities Department takes visitors on a captivating journey through the ancient world, while the Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities Department showcases the enduring legacy of classical civilizations. The Near Eastern Antiquities Department offers a glimpse into the rich history of the Middle East, and the Islamic Arts Department unveils the beauty and intricacy of Islamic artistic traditions. Visitors can also explore the Decorative Arts, Sculpture, Paintings, Drawings and Prints departments, each offering a unique perspective on art history.
A centrepiece of the Louvre that has captured the imagination of visitors is the Louvre Pyramid&mdashdesigned by renowned architect I. M. Pei in 1981, this architectural marvel adds a contemporary touch to the museum's historic surroundings. Composed of glass and metal, the pyramid is a striking symbol of modernism and innovation. Located in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace, it provides a striking contrast to the baroque architecture of its neighbours. Visitors discover a web of rooms, an information centre, and a cafeteria inside the pyramid, seamlessly blending the modern with the traditional. The Louvre Pyramid's design, although celebrated today, was not without controversy. Many critics initially questioned its compatibility with the surrounding historical monuments. Some viewed the pyramid as an intrusion, associating it with Egyptian funerary symbolism.
Moreover, sceptics raised doubts about President François Mitterrand's vision in commissioning the project and whether the Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei fully understood the cultural significance of the Louvre. Yet, against all odds, the Louvre Pyramid triumphed, becoming an iconic symbol of Paris and a testament to the blending of architectural styles across centuries.
Know Before You Go
Best Time To Visit Weekdays, especially Wednesday and Friday, are ideal, as the museum extends its opening hours, allowing you to explore in relative tranquillity. The crowds tend to diminish during the closing hours, around 945 pm, so Wednesday and Friday nights are particularly serene for those seeking a more intimate encounter with the artworks. To save time and make the most of your visit, consider acquiring "Skip the Line" Louvre tickets, which provides expedited access to the museum and the freedom to explore at your own pace.
Suggested Duration 3 Hours You can get timed entries and book them in advance to save your entry.
Starting Price 17 Euros or INR 1540
Hours Wednesday to Monday 9 am to 6 pm Closed on Thursday
Closest Subway Station Palais-Royal - Musée du Louvre
Address Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Cover photo credit Deposit photos
DEPOSIT PHOTOS Museum Love