Today we started out with a hearty breakfast, before heading over to the Louvre Museum. This place is HUGE! It is over 700,000 square feet, it’s literally the worlds largest museum. Its housed inside what used to be known as the Louvre Palace in the 12th and 13th centuries. It started to turn into a museum when Louis XIV moved his household to Versailles in 1682, leaving the royal collection on display at the Louvre. It became the home of Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. During the French Revolution, it was decided by the National Assembly that the Louvre would become a museum to display the country’s masterpieces. It officially opened on the 10th of August 1793.
The ceilings throughout the museum are also amazing, and gilded and SO tall!
After dropping off our coats in the cloak room, and briefly getting lost in the pyramid we headed to the Greek statues. After enjoying the halls of statues, we headed we came to the Venus de Milo. She is stunning! And she looks really good for her age, about 2100 years old. There was a huge crowd around her, and rightfully so.
We then headed off to see the Roman Statues. They have a beautiful with a wonderful mosaic on the floor as well as some beautiful statues.
From there we passed the Winged Victory.
On our way to see the Mona Lisa. That’s right… THE Mona Lisa, coy smile and all. She had an even bigger crowd than Venus! But there is something simply enchanting about this painting in person. I can totally understand why the French stole it from the Italians.
Interestingly, it hung in Napoleon’s bedroom before being installed at the Louvre. It was also stolen from the museum in 1911 and not returned until 1914 after being discovered in Florence.
We visited halls of paintings, including The Coronation of Napoleon.
We wanted to visit the Egyptian Section as well. They had everything from beauty items, to an army of small blue figurines, to sphinxes galore, to tiny carved hippos, not to mention so many sarcophagi.
They even have a small burial room complete with hieroglyphs on the walls.
The only issue we really had with the Egyptian Room is how big it is! We got lost in that section for about an hour and a half. We think they must have cursed us somehow for disturbing them. We spent half our time there trying to figure out how to get out, but with every turn we ended up further into the exhibit. I don’t want to say for sure, but there is a pretty big chance we had an Egyptian curse put on us to get lost. Towards the end we got to see the Seated Scribe, which has eerily life like eyes.
But we did eventually find our way out. Really, you could spend a whole day in each section of the Louvre and still walk away with something more to learn. I really hope to come back someday!
Side note: The Louvre has some pretty awkward signs…
After the Louvre we headed over the Notre Dame Cathedral.
What I love about the architecture here is that your eyes are drawn up; it makes you look heavenward.
The stain glass is also amazing. And I love that this is a working church. While we were there we saw people come in to pray, or to read, or to worship. It was one of those “take your breath away” moments.
After exploring the area around Notre Dame a bit, and discovering this adorable street, that looks like it’s straight out of a movie set.
We got caught in another rain storm, headed back to our neighborhood, and got a quick dinner. Tonight we packed up our stuff because we have to leave tomorrow morning. Tiffany will be heading home to Oregon, and I’ll be on my way to Greece. I’m going to miss her!
But I can’t wait for the adventure to continue.
Back to the Louvre momentarily… the plaques with the names of the statues are almost all in French, so we couldn’t read the names. So, I made up some titles of my own:
Lion Playing Watch Ya’ Mouth
My Ping Pong Paddle Broke
Got Your Nose
The Bad Breakup
Hungry, but not Hungry, Hungry