Louvre Art Gallery & Museum

Best known as one of the world's great museums, the Louvre has gone through three incarnations:

The Louvre Castle

When first built in the 12th century, the Louvre was designed to defend the north of Paris from attack. (at the time, Paris didn't stretch out far past the Ile de la Cite)

The Royal Louvre

During the Renaissance, successive kings dismantled the orignal castle and built the Louvre into a palace. The Louvre, was the home of the kings of France until the late 17th century, when they moved to Versailles.

Le Musee du Louvre

After the French revolution, the building was turned into a home for art and the Louvre Museum was born.

How To Get the Most Out Of A Visit To The Louvre

The Louvre art collection is too big to see on one visit - if you were to spend 3 seconds in front of every exhibit, you'd be there for almost 30 hours - so, you need to pick and choose carefully.

So, what should you put on your list?

The Mona Lisa

The #1 attraction for visitors to the Louvre and one you shouldn't miss. The French call the painting "La Joconde" and you will see many signs pointing you towards it).

Does the painting deserve it's status as the most famous in the world? That's for you to decide.

The Venus de Milo

One of the world's most famous sculptures, but one whose artistic value has been questioned.

According to her critics, the reputation of the Venus is down to a propaganda campaign by the French authorities in the 19th century. They wished to convince the people that she was a greater beauty than the Medici Venus which had recently been returned to Italy.

Hype or Beauty? See for yourself.

La Liberte guidant le peuple (Liberty Leads The People)

(below)

Liberty Leading the People - Eugene Delacroix

Notes

The museum is closed on Tuesdays. And, like the Musee D'Orsay and the modern gallery in the Pompidou Center), entrance is free on the first Sunday of each month.

Related Articles:

Museums and Art Galleries

Musee D'Orsay

Pompidou Center

1st Arrondissement

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