Musee du Louvre - Paris, France
I decided I would walk from Fouquets on the Champs Elysees boulevard to the grand Palace of the Muses, the magnificent Musee de Louvre. The Arc de Triumphe sits at the opposite end of Champs Elysees and the Louvre is the resplendent capstone in all of its French glory. It was a beautiful day in July and I had heard so much about the Louvre, I knew I wanted to tour it on my own. There is something about art and history that belongs to the masses and yet something profoundly personal about observing it for the first time.
Before entering the grand walkways and walking through the arches, I stopped to admire the beautiful fountain at the Place de la Concorde, in the center of a round about. While walking through the Tuileries, which I had seen so many times in paintings, I understood why so many spend leisurely time sitting near the fountains. People taking a rest, locals reading or pretending to read the newspaper with their little dogs near them, children floating small toy boats in the water, couples embracing; it is a painting come alive.
I entered the famous Louvre Pyramid and took an escalator down to the sunken court where I bought my ticket. It is flooded with light from the 666 glass panes of the pyramid designed to illuminate with natural light. It was quite crowded and people were everywhere. There are additional entrances that can be found here, which are not as congested. There were people from many cultures and I could hear various languages being spoken. Once you have your ticket and map, there are escalators which take you to different wings of the enormous structure. It is wise to have a plan before you start wandering.
Ceiling Panel Inside The Louvre
Learn More About The Lourvre
Palace of the Muses
There are three different wings on four floors. There is the Richelieu Wing, Sully Wing and the Denon Wing. There is the Lower Ground Floor, Ground Floor, First Floor and Second Floor. It is impossible to see everything with one visit so I had to decide which areas I most wanted to visit. They were having a special exhibition at the time of pencil drawings by Leonardo de Vinci, so that was certainly a must see and it was incredulous to see these amazing works displayed.
Just to give you an idea of the treasures that are housed at the Louvre, I will list the different categories which can be seen and enjoyed.
- Medieval Louvre
- Oriental Antiquities
- Egyptian Antiquities
- Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities
- French Paintings
- Italian Paintings
- Flemish Paintings
- Dutch Paintings
- German Paintings
- Spanish Paintings
- English Paintings
- Graphic Arts
- Objets D’Art
- World Sculptures
I started with oriental antiquities from Mesopotamia on the ground floor in the Richelieu wing. The first cities, states began to emerge with the Sumerians 2450 B.C. Writing began as they used sculpture to carve hieroglyphics as a form of communication. It was marvelous to gaze at these objects of the builders and warriors of a society. I marveled at the hierarchy of power established so early in life. There is a limestone relief of Ur-Nanshe, 2500 B.C., who was the founder of the I dynasty of Lagash (modern day Iraq), with a basket of bricks on his head commanding his troops as they trample on the bodies of their enemies. He was what is known as a builder-king. I walked through this wing in awe, marveling at the detailed intellect of these people preserving their history and beliefs. It is the earliest known civilization and this area is now known as the cradle of civilization.
From Aphrodite to Winged Victory
I then wandered into the Denon wing and found the Greek and Roman antiquities. The most famous piece in this wing is Aphrodite, also known as Venus de Milo. The Greek goddess of beauty was carved from marble around 100 B.C., which is known as the Hellenistic era. I had taken courses in college of Art History and Classical Humanities and remembered learning about much of what I was now seeing. It was a very humbling and awesome time for me realizing the significance of history and the importance of preservation.
In the Sully wing I discovered the Egyptian antiquities. The Egyptians preoccupied themselves with preparing their soul for life beyond. The room is filled with beautiful, colorful, detailed, sarcophagi (coffin), stelae which resemble raised tombstones. They are covered with painted rites of passage to be followed, which would include a magic formula, scenes of burial, daily life after death, prayers addressed to the god Ra-Horakhti. They are life size, and quite elaborate and beautiful. Everything is symbolic. I leave this area with a piqued curiosity about the mysteries of the great beyond and, perhaps subconsciously symbolic, walk upstairs to the first floor.
As I continued walking, I saw her, the monumental statue of the goddess, Winged Victory, or Nike, in Greek. It was unearthed on the small island of Samothrace in the Agaean Sea in 1863. She graces a prominent place in the Denon wing at the top of a beautiful staircase. It also is carved from marble. Wings are unfurled, celebrating a battle. Wings also symbolize the connection between heaven and earth, gods to men and men to the beyond. She is gorgeous and many are taking photographs, including myself. There is a connection made with the divine as I walk down the stairway.
A Gift to the World
My visit to the Louvre, in some respects, was like a dream. I remember stopping at times and gazing at the lifelike statues of gods and goddesses or looking through glass at a silicon ceramic peacock dish with decoration painted under glaze found in Turkey (1540 B.C.) I realized where I was, but everything around me was from another world, another time. (Lucky for me, I kept a journal and took photographs.) The Musee de Louvre truly is a gift to the world.
Hubtrail Parisian Style
- A Night in Paris, City of Light
- Riding the Metro in Paris
- Sitting in a park outside of Paris, France
- An American In Paris For the First Time- My Story
Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on February 18, 2012:
Thanks vespa. Even the outside is so beautiful. I love the 'presence' that is has. There is such a feeling of walking through history! I still haven't written about the paintings!
There is such detail needed when writing these kind of hubs. It sounds like you toured the museum the best way and stuck to a schedule. Needless to say, it truly is the Palace of the Muses.
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on February 18, 2012:
What a nice hub on the Louvre! It is unbelievably sprawling and I could have spent a week there and still not seen everything. We had a plan before entering. We'd mapped out the areas/exhibits that especially interested us and stuck to a strict schedule. It helped make the most of the time we'd set aside for the Louvre. It's an unforgettable museum!
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on June 13, 2011:
Thanks alocsin! I'm glad you enjoyed it and thank for the link. I just gave your hub a tweet! :]
Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on June 13, 2011:
One of my favorite museums. Linking this to my Paris hub.
London Paris Trains on October 27, 2010:
Paris is the most fascinating and romantic city in Whole World. It is the most visited by couples. I always love to explore this charming city which is also called city of light. Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dam and Les Invalides are some of the unique attractions in Paris. Paris is most preferable tourist destination because easy accessibility by high speed Eurostar train. Eurostar train is a high-speed Passenger train connecting UK to Mainland Europe. You can reach Paris in record time of 2hr 15min with Eurostar from London. Paris offers something for everyone. Do make visit to this fabulous city and enjoy your journey through Eurostar.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on March 15, 2010:
thank you CM for reading and commenting. I agree that the Egyptian rooms are fascinating, so much to see and think about while looking at everything. I couldn't even see Mona Lisa, there were too many people crowded around it taking pics. I was somewhat shocked to see all of the cameras.
thanks drbj! lucky you to have been able to make a visit last year to the lovely city. the Louvre is amazing, isn't it? I have a friend who lives in Paris and has been there so many times, he has quit counting. He goes often to see the current exhibitions. wouldn't that be nice??
drbj and sherry from south Florida on March 15, 2010:
I had the good fortune to visit Paris last year and the Louvre. It is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable museums in the world and I wished I could have spent more time admiring its art treasures and absorbing its history.
Excellent, descriptive hub, rebekahELLE
CMHypno from Other Side of the Sun on February 03, 2010:
Great Hub on the Louvre rebekahELLE - I love the Egyptian rooms and where in the basement you can walk around the old medieval foundations. The Mona Lisa is a disappointment though!
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on February 01, 2010:
thank you uriel and james, yes, it was and is breathtaking to see such beauty and history all in one place. I realize it was a special trip and I do very much treasure my memories. I'm currently beginning the work for the second part which will cover some of the outstanding paintings in the Louvre. thank you both for your time in reading and sharing your comments. :)
James A Watkins from Chicago on February 01, 2010:
The Louvre is the top museum in the world. How blessed you are to have been there in person and view the priceless treasures they have there by the ton. Beautiful Hub. Thanks.
Uriel from Lebanon on January 28, 2010:
WOOW the pictures are simply breathtaking amazing !!!!! I whole history written and joined by time to form a long time line that can be viewed and inspected just by observation :D
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on January 26, 2010:
thank you greensnob and mow, my pleasure to share my experience with you! I think anyone that travels there or lives there knows how special and beautiful it really is. it's quite hard to put in words to make it live for others, so I appreciate your very nice comments. happy to have brought back warm memories for you. :]
myownworld from uk on January 26, 2010:
Oh I lived in France (on the outskirts of paris) for 5 years....and there were days I would roam in paris for hours, taking in that breathtaking beauty and thinking I had finally memorized it all...and yet it all seems like a dream now! Thank for this brilliant hub! Brought back many warm memories....
greensnob on January 20, 2010:
Thanks for the trip to Paris. i saw it again through your eyes.
rebekahELLE (author) from Tampa Bay on December 29, 2009:
Thanks everyone for the comments! There were numerous times while there when I felt overwhelmed. I would sit on a bench or stand in awe with little tears in my eyes to see such beauty and history. There will be another hub soon.... :]
James Mark from York, England on December 29, 2009:
Thanks for this - I had forgotten how brilliant the sculptures are, to get that much expression out of stone is amazing. Thanks too for your comment on my entries.
Holle Abee from Georgia on December 27, 2009:
Beautiful hub! I can't imagine what it would be like to be in the presence of such awesome art. Thanks for sharing!
Hillary from Atlanta, GA on December 24, 2009:
Wonderful information. I will bookmark it for reference and I look forward to more. Love that avatar.
Petra Vlah from Los Angeles on December 23, 2009:
Thank you for a great hub,
It gives a feel for the Louvre, it is informative for all and it brings back memories for me.