Louvre Museum, History, Collections & Facts (with Photos)

Louvre Museum (Paris, France) — expositions, opening hours, address, phone numbers, official website.

Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum

The most famous museum on the planet, the symbol of Paris, the pride of France... that's right - it's the Louvre Museum. And yet... imagine 22 football fields at once; fill this space with tens of thousands of sculptures, paintings, jewelry, ceramics and decor - in a word, everything that mankind has produced over the past 5 thousand years; imagine that every day two infantry divisions (25-30 thousand people) march through this territory. So this is also the Louvre.

Why the Louvre is worth a visit

Almost 10 million people a year go to the Louvre not only for the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. The museum offers 35,000 paintings, statues, frescoes, engravings, prints for inspection. And this is only a small part: in total, the museum has a third of a million of them (on average, a painting is exhibited for three months, and then sent to the storeroom to avoid damage - the atmosphere in public halls harms the safety of paintings). If you are strong, resilient and willing to spend up to 10 hours on inspection, each exhibit will get no more than a second of your time. Hence the logical conclusion: you need to plan the inspection in advance (and at the same time part with the idea of ​​​​examining everything).

Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum

Of course, going to the museum is not a polar expedition, but thorough preparation is still very desirable. And it starts with the choice of goals.

Although the Louvre exhibitions generally follow "chronological" and "national" principles, there are numerous exceptions. The fact is that the collections donated to the Louvre are exhibited in their entirety - out of respect for the donors. Therefore, do not be surprised if you still have to “catch” the paintings of your favorite artist one by one.

Here are the main sections of the museum:

  • Ancient East (the art and culture of Iran, Mesopotamia and the Levant. This collection contains a stele with carved laws of Hammurabi - the most ancient monument to the rule of law);
  • Ancient Egypt (including the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Behind the world-famous Sphinx - here);
  • Ancient Greece and Rome (the Etruscan collection of monuments is also exhibited here - there are simply no analogues to it in the world);
  • Islamic Art (a relatively new collection, opened to the public only in 2003);
  • Sculptures (almost an immense collection of French and Italian statues - from the 6th to the middle of the 19th centuries);
  • Decorative and applied arts (dishes, furniture, tapestries, jewelry and, again, sculptures - for example, the famous equestrian statue of Charlemagne);
  • Graphic arts: drawings, engravings, prints... in a word, everything that was not written in oil or watercolor on canvas (the museum's most extensive collection);
  • Painting: in addition to the well-known Mona Lisa - 4 more paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, as well as paintings by Raphael, Titian, Correggio, El Greco, Goya, Delacroix and hundreds of others (about 6 thousand exhibits in total).

Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum

How not to get lost in the Louvre

First of all, you need to get a floor plan. It's not difficult, it is distributed for free at every entrance - the main thing is not to forget about it on emotions. If for some reason it was not possible to get hold of a cheat sheet, here are some tips:

The ancient halls (plus the East and Egypt) mainly occupy the first floor, painting and applied art - the second and third.

French works of art (again, mostly) are concentrated in the north wing of the Louvre (“the Richelieu wing”), Italian ones, including the Mona Lisa, in the south (“Deon wing”, second floor).

In addition to the three above-ground floors, there is a fourth - the basement. It is hardly visited by tourists. But in vain! After all, it is there that you can still see the surviving part of the "old Louvre" - fragments of the walls of the fortress of the 12th century. And not only to see, but also to touch them.

Do not forget that the French call the floors differently than we do. The first floor in France is “rez-de-chaussée” (rez-de-chaussée on signs), the first floor is our second, etc.

“Madame, sherche Carousel”, or how to get to the Louvre without a queue

The entrance through the glass pyramid was called the central one because it is not the only one. If you have purchased a ticket in advance, you can use a separate entrance: it is located opposite the pyramid in the passage to the Palais Royal - just keep heading towards Rivoli. If you haven’t bought tickets in advance, but you don’t want to waste time in a queue, there is still a way out: you can get to the Louvre through the lower floor of the Caroussel du Louvre shopping center. If you get lost, just tell any passer-by: “Cherche Carousel du Louvre, sil vu ple” - they will definitely help you.

Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum

About the inevitable

Even if you want, you will almost certainly not miss the Mona Lisa - all the signs of the Louvre persistently point the way to it. You will also probably determine the place of the exposition right away - by the huge crowd in the hall.

People are always crowding around the picture, and it is pointless to wait for the end of the influx - you have to look like that. After several attempts at vandalism, Gioconda was covered with armored glass, hence the hard-won advice - stand exactly opposite, otherwise you will admire the glare instead of the picture. Also, do not expect to stand in front of the Mona Lisa for a long time - a security guard is on duty in the hall, who makes sure that some visitors do not detain others. However, it is possible that Mona Lisa will want to smile just for you - after all, a second is enough for this.

Practical information

Address: Royal Palace, Louvre Museum, 75001.

How to get there: by regular buses No. 21, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 76, 95 or Open Tour tourist buses. You can also take the metro: Palais Royal - Musee du Louvre station on line 1 or 7. It is also possible along the Seine, on Batobus pleasure boats (5 minutes walk from the pier).

Opening hours: Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday - from 9:00 to 18:00; on Wednesdays and Fridays - from 9:00 to 21:45. The museum is closed on Tuesdays, as well as January 1, May 1 and December 25.

Louvre Museum Map