Aug 2, 2009

When the first time I went to the Louvre, I fell in love directly. I couldn't imagine how they built the Louvre with the most beautiful concepts in the world. It's perfect for me. The Musée du Louvre (Louvre Museum or Great Louvre, or simply the Louvre)is the largest national museum of France, the most visited museum in the world, and an historic monument, with over 35,000 pieces of art housed in a gigantic, 60,000 square foot building. Located along the banks of the Seine, the glass pyramid outside the Louvre is a memorable landmark, and an often photographed view of the museum. Descend below to enjoy the large collection of works, including Leonardo da Vinci"s Mona Lisa.

Built by Philippe-Auguste, the Louvre in the late 12th century as a fortress on the edge of the city to protect Paris from Anglo-Norman invaders. The Louvre was retrofitted into a residence for Louis XIV in the 16th century, and remained a palace for several centuries, but also began to showcase the works that France had been collecting. The history of the Louvre museum took a dramatic turn in the late 18th century when the art collection took over entirely, and thus the modern Louvre was born. Different rulers build different sections as part of the palace expansion. King Henri IV built the Grande Galerie, which is over a quarter of a mile long, and at the time was the longest building in the world. Louis XIII completed the Denon Wing during his rein. Even Napoleon had a hand in the history of the Louvre museum, adding a wing in the 1850s.

The Palais du Louvre (Louvre Palace) is an almost rectangular structure, composed of the square Cour Carrée and two wings which wrap the Cour Napoléon to the north and south. In the heart of the complex is the Louvre Pyramid, above the visitor's center. The museum is divided into three wings: the Sully Wing to the east, which contains the Cour Carrée and the oldest parts of the Louvre; the Richelieu Wing to the north; and the Denon Wing, which borders the Seine to the south.

When I went to the entrance by the escalator from the pyramid, I really adore the design of the glass pyramid. How creative is architect I.M Pei ! After went down, I saw the inverted pyramid. It's so beautiful, especially when the sun shined. French President François Mitterrand proposed the Grand Louvre plan (1983) to renovate the building and relocate the Finance Ministry, allowing displays throughout the building. Architect I. M. Pei was awarded the project and proposed a glass pyramid for the central courtyard.The pyramid and its underground lobby were inaugurated on 15 October 1988. The second phase of the Grand Louvre plan, La Pyramide Inversée (The Inverted Pyramid), was completed in 1993. As of 2002, attendance had doubled since completion.

A Louvre tour seeing every piece of work in the collection would take weeks. The Louvre is divided into eight collections.The Collections of the Louvre include: egyptian antiquitie, near eastern antiquities, greek, etruscan, and roman, islamic art, sculpture, decorative arts, painting, prints and drawings. I didin't have much time when I went to Louvre. So I only chose several collections to see. The painted ceilings in the Louvre are very beautiful. An obligatory stop on the Louvre tour is at the Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, also known as the Mona Lisa. It is on display (First Floor/denon/room 13), behind a glass case, roped stanchions, and a throng of museum goers. Stop by for a look, then head off to another section to become more engulfed in the works. Other famous works include the ancient Greek statue Venus de Milo, dating to around 130 B.C., and the Virgin and Child with St. Anne by da Vinc. The painting depicts St. Anne, her daughter the Virgin and the child Jesus.

How great Louvre !

Station on Paris metro: Louvre