Le Louvre

Musée du Louvre has a long history, before they built the renaissance building of today. It houses one of the world's most important art collections. We had to wait in long lines both to get inside the pyramid and to buy tickets. But the good thing is that Le Louvre was worth all the queueing and the long and craving walks. The museum is massive, beautiful and simply amazing - both the art and the architectures! It is so large that you could live there for a lifetime and still not have time to see the whole museum! We visited the museum on a rainy, cold and grey day.

The modern glass pyramid of Le Louvre was drawn by famous architect IM Pei and was built in 1989 as the new entrance to the museum. Traditionalists where shocked, but I think it is very cool and makes the whole complex even more interesting. It plays an important role in the bestseller Da Vinci Code.

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel at Place de Carrousel near the entrance of the Louvre. In the distance you can see the more famous Arc de Triomphe and the Luxor Obelisque.

The pyramid entrance leads the visitors to a large multi-storey concourse beneath the ground. The glass pyramid serves as the roof. Note the circular thing in the middle of the stairway. It is a special kind of lift that only the staff uses. They are moving the whole thing up and down.

Here you can see the concourse just beneath IM Pei´s glass pyramid surrounded by the old renaissance buildings of Musée du Louvre!

The renaissance exterior seen from the pyramid's roof.

The museum is huge. It took us 6 hours just to visit one of the 4 floors in a fast tempo. It is as large as the downtown area of a small city and consists of 3 main wings: Denon, Sully and Richeleu. The fact that the whole building is shaped like an U and that the visitors have to walk up and down through a lot of stairs several times to get through the same floor makes the visit take a lot of time and energy from the visitor. We used the elevator once, but where nearly trapped.

The large and the small glass pyramid seen from an arch inside the museum.

The halls are very long and photographing is sometimes not allowed. :

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Despite it is so famous (especially after the Da Vinci Code), I really don't think there is anything special about it. Most other paintings where much larger and more impressive!

But this roof is very impressive! Sorry for the bad quality, blame the camera!

Da Vinci's "Madonna in the Grotto", also featured in the "Da Vinci Code".

The antique classic Greek department was very interesting.

And so was the Egyptian department.

There are 2 large impressive inner courtyards with white marble, Greek sculpture and stairs.

Finally leaving the courtyard entering the raining outside world again!