Our visit to Paris was planned with the primary purpose of visiting the Louvre Museum. The Louvre is housed in a former fortress and royal palace, dating back to the 12th century, and is considered a historical monument in the city. It is now the world's largest and most popular art museum with an area of 782,910 square feet and a record of 10.2 million visitors in 2018. In other words, it is an enormous, difficult to navigate, crowded place with over 35,000 objects on display, including several famous masterpieces.

We booked a Louvre Museum Walking Tour for this visit*. We learned from prior travels that large museums are best enjoyed when guided by an expert who can show us the most important pieces and tell us some interesting facts before the sensory overload kicks in. This tour allowed us to skip the entry line and receive three hours of guided commentary from our escort. We also stayed an extra hour beyond the tour and tried to navigate the Egyptian Antiquities and Napoleon III Apartments on our own before we called it quits for the day. And we barely scratched the surface of this museum.

Our time in the Louvre was cramped, warm, and tiring, but we loved every second we spent there being pushed around. We would visit again (hopefully when less crowded) to explore some of the wings we missed and also revisit our favorite pieces.

[*Side note: Without a guide, our museum strategy would have been to focus on the objects highlighted in the complimentary Museum Map.]

^^ Inverted Pyramid ^^

^^ Medieval Moats: Remains of the former fortress. ^^

^^ Great Sphinx of Tanis (Old Kingdom, 2600 BC, Old Kingdom) ^^ 
^^  Kresilas's Athena of Velletri / Velletri Pallas (c. 430 BC) ^^ 
^^ Venus de Milo (100 BC, Cyclades, Greece) ^^


 ^^ Leochares's Diana of Versailles (c. 325 BC) ^^




^^  Winged Victory of Samothrace (190 BC, Ancient Greece) ^^

^^ The Winged Victory of Samothrace depicts Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. ^^

^^ Botticelli’s Venus with Three Graces (1483-1486) ^^


^^ Master of the Nativity of Castello's
Madonna and Child with a Goldfinch (c. 1455-1460)

^^ Leonardo Da Vinci's Saint John the Baptist (1513-1516) ^^ 
^^ Leonardo Da Vinci's Virgin and Child with St Anne (c. 1503-1519) ^^

^^ Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (1503-1506) ^^


^^  The Mona Lisa's dimensions are only 30 x 21 inches. ^^

^^ Denon Wing ^^ 
^^ Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa (1791-1824) ^^ 
^^ Théodore Géricault’s The Charging Chasseur (1812) ^^
^^ Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People (1830): This poster celebrates the 1830 Revolution against King Charles X. ^^

^^ Michelangelo’s Dying Slave (1513-1516) ^^



^^ Napoleon III Apartments (1852-1857) ^^

^^ The Louvre says the Napoleon III Apartments are an exceptional record of Second Empire decorative art. ^^

 ^^ Guillaume Coustou's Marly Horses (1745) ^^ 

Things to Note:
1) The museum is closed on Tuesdays and select holidays.
2) Large bags are not permitted. Lockers are available beneath the Pyramid.
3) Photos are permitted without flash.

1) Purchase tickets in advance to skip the line.
2) Book a guided tour. It's helpful to have someone point out and explain the more important pieces.
3) Consider downloading The Louvre App if exploring the museum on your own. Most descriptions are written in French.
4) Read about the important works prior to your visit. Prioritize your interests. Make a game plan.
5) Avoid the main pyramid entrance. Use the entrance at the Carrousel Du Louvre shopping center  (next to Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel) to skip the queue of people.
6) Don't try to see everything in one day. It's not possible.
7) Dress in layers. It's warm inside.
8) Visit the Mona Lisa early or late in the day. Hold your ground. The crowd is not well managed.

Helpful Reads:
Make the Most of the Louvre by Nina Siegal


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