Address: Musée du Louvre, Palais Royale , Paris 1
Metro: Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre or Louvre – Rivoli
Hours: Open Wednesday through Monday from 9 am – 6 pm
Wednesday and Friday from 9 am – 9:45 pm
Closed: The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, January 1, May 1, July 14 and December 25
Fees: Adult 17 €, free for under 18 – you can purchase your ticket online
Website: : The Louvre
The Louvre Museum is one of the most famous and most complete museums in the world. Over 34,000 art works from the end of the 13th century to the middle of the 19th century are displayed at the Louvre.
The history of the Louvre goes back to Medieval Paris. In 1190, the Louvre was built by King Philippe-Auguste as a fortress to protect Paris from the invasion of the Anglo-Romans. The Salle Basse, or the Lower Hall, is what is left from the Medieval life of the Louvre.
In 1364, under Charles V, the fortress was transformed into a Royal Palace until the death of Charles VI. It was not until 1527 that Francois I decided to use the Louvre again – but with a Renaissance touch. The west wing was destroyed and to be replaced by a Renaissance building. The destruction and construction continued until the reign of Henri II, who added his touches including the king’s private apartments.
Throughout the centuries, various kings added and remodeled the palace. The Tuileries Palace was built and corridors were added from the Louvre to the new palaces.
In 1793, after the French Revolution, The Louvre became a public museum.
Divided into 8 departments, it contains arts from the end of the 13th century to the middle of the 19th century. You can find Middle Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities, sculptures, and wonderful painting collections including the famous Mona Lisa.
The ultra modern glass pyramid was added to the Louvre as the entrance in 1989. It took 4 years to build this Pyramid.
Art lovers, with more time, probably can easily spend more than 1 day in this massive museum. For others, you will spend a good portion of a day just browsing through the art works.
You can buy Louvre Museum Pass online in advance. This one day pass gives you immediate access to the Louvre’s permanent exhibitions and Eugene Delacroix museum.
What you can find at the Louvre:
European Paintings from the 13th – 19th centuries. Paintings are divided into rooms by the country of origin such as French, Italian or Spanish. Prints and drawings have their respective sections as well.
Near East Antiquities – Some dating back over 10,000 years from places like Iran and Mesopotamia.
Egyptian Antiquities – Includes collections from 4000 BC to the 4th century of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities – Includes art collections from the Mediterranean area dating back to the Neolithic times.
Islamic Art – A collection of art objects from the last 1,400 years from Islamic countries, such as the Turks and Moguls.
Sculptures – Divided into Medieval, Renaissance and Modern sections.
Decorative Art – Some include Jewelry, Furniture and Tapestries from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.
NEW: The Louvre has entered a 4 year partnership with various US museums to display American Arts.
The Louvre also houses temporary exhibitions throughout the year at an extra cost.
You can rent a Nintendo 3DS Audio guide from the Louvre for 5 € full price.
Please note that during high season from April to September, there will not be any free admission to the museum.