Paris is a popular, city-break destination for a weekend. I always wonder, how you can ever see Paris, in just one weekend? You simply can not! The city has so much to offer, that even a month would not be enough. The key to enjoying Paris in a short period of time, is to carefully choose what you really want to see. I’m not a museum-lover as museums bore me. However, being in Paris and skipping the Louvre? That would be so wrong. This is what others kept telling me. So I decided to visit. But, before I crossed the doors of the pyramid that serves as the main entrance, I knew exactly what I want to see and where I needed to search. I was not going to waste a whole day in fabulous Paris, for just the Louvre.
The Louvre, built in the 12th century as a castle, has one of the most extraordinary, art collections in the world. It houses a collection of approximately 290,000 works, including the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and many others. For curious or moderate art lovers, it merits at least one visit in a lifetime, for true art lovers, perhaps there are never enough visits to satiate their need. For most tourists it is one of Paris’ must-see landmarks.
The visit to the Louvre starts from a courtyard. Here you can walk around and admire the glass pyramids that make this famous place so iconic. The Louvre Pyramid is a large glass and metal pyramid, surrounded by three smaller pyramids, in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace. It has been claimed by some that the glass panes in the Louvre Pyramid number exactly 666, “the number of the beast”, often associated with Satan. Well, I didn’t count them myself to try and verify the claim.
This museum is incredibly huge, and I really mean huuuuugeeee, with 4 floors and very long halls on two sides. Words here are not enough to explain how huge. You must to see it; you must experience the walk here. I speak from experience. Before coming here, I never realized that visiting the Louvre meant doing an endlessly long walk. You can wander here for few hours, and I’m still not so sure if “ a few” is enough, and see almost nothing.
Going into halls, up and down stairways, makes one tired. You need to be in good, physical condition to survive the Louvre, believe me. Additionally, you need to have nerves made of steel as tourists can make your blood pressure rise. The museum is usually very crowded and when you finally reach one of the more famous artworks, brace yourself for a super-crowd. You can forget about a pic of only you and Mona Lisa. There will be always somebody photo bombing your selfie.
The best way to get the most out of the Louvre is to realize, that you are not going to see everything! Do not even try! The most famous pieces of the Louvre collection are: the Mona Lisa – a lady with the mystery smile which is the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world. Then, the Winged Victory – the greatest, surviving masterpiece of sculpture from the Hellenistic period, despite the fact that the figure is significantly damaged, missing its head and outstretched arms. Also, the Venus de Milo – the lady that is supposed to be the symbol of beauty. They are not very close to each other but you may easily find a way to them in less then an half an hour.
However, don’t rush ( like I did) because while running from one room to the next, you may miss some remarkable eye candy ( like I did for sure).
Don’t follow blindly what the guides say is a must-see and what is not. Be wise and listen to yourself and pick only what you really want. Satisfy You! Not the author of the guide book! It will save you a lot of time and will make your trip more enjoyable.