The Louvre Museum

A museum that was constructed as a fortress in the late 12th century.

The exterior of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France

Bordered by the Tuileries Garden and the Right Bank of the Seine, this former residence of the kings — and one of the oldest structures in Paris — was inaugurated as a museum in 1793. In the principal courtyard, new and old intermingle in the form of a huge steel-and-glass pyramid that shelters the entrance hall. The art collection of the Louvre is one of the most important in the world, and is so extensive that a complete visit would take several days.

The 35,000 works are arranged into eight departments. The Egyptian Antiquities department includes such treasures as the Seated Scribe, dating back to about 2,500 BC, as well as the storied sarcophagi of the Pharaohs. Near Eastern Antiquities features objects crafted before the arrival of Islam, while Islamic Art exhibits the religion's influence on the region. The Greek, Etruscan and Roman section notably showcases marble sculptures such as the famous Venus de Milo. The Decorative Art division displays jewels, fixtures and tapestries from the Middle Ages through the 19th century.

The 7,500 paintings shown in turns are for the most part French, Italian and Flemish, and count masterpieces such as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa among their numbers. Separate departments devoted to sculptures and prints complete the collection, which is supplemented by temporary exhibitions. For a respite from all the art-viewing, several cafés and Restaurant Le Grand Louvre provide drinks and nibbles.

Attraction Information

Address

Rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris France

Contact

+33 1 40 20 50 50 Attraction’s Website

Attraction Details

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