Inside the Louvre Museum

click her for the Louvre outside, sculptures, paintings, objet d'art, Egyptian antiquities

The entrances to the Louvre and the glass pyramids

There are two main entrances to the Louvre. From the outside you can enter at street level via the glass pyramid. This will give you a good view of the outside of the building as you stand in the queue. However if the weather is bad I would recommend you enter directly from the metro. Get off at the metro stop called Palais Royal/ Museé du Louvre and just follow the signs for the museum.

Entrance to the Louvre is free for those under 18, and free for all on the first Sunday of every month. If you are going to be in Paris for any length of time I would recommend an Ami du Louvre card. It gives you unlimited access using a special entrance (very useful during busy tourist times as it means you don't have to queue), discount in the cafes and shops, and allows you to take a friend in for free on Wednesday and Friday evenings, this also includes special exhibitions.

Louvre ceiling

copying paintings

On the left is the main entrance to the Louvre, under the largest glass pyramid. This photograph was taken as it started to get dark outside. It is while they were digging for the construction of the pyramids that much of the Medieval Louvre was uncovered. Now you can walk round the original Louvre. Below is a model showing what it would have looked like.

And, unbelievably, if you pay French tax you can claim about half this money back on your tax form! The card also gets you discounted entry to some other museums in France, so it is a bargain.

As you can seen from the photographs of the outside, the Louvre is a beautiful building. On the inside you can overdose on all kinds of art. Above you can see just part of a ceiling, showing that it is just as beautiful on the inside too. And that is not even counting the contents. I've been more times than I can remember, and I still have a lot I want to see.

Free guides and maps to the Louvre

Whatever entrance you use don't forget to visit the main information desk - sometimes it is so crowded that you cannot see it for visitors, but it is below the main glass pyramid. There you can pick up a really good free map in around 10 different languages, and other free stuff, such as guides to special exhibits etc.

If you visit the Louvre you will come across artists copying paintings, like the man on the right. This is more commonly seen on the second floor, as there are fewer visitors. These artists or students have been given special permission to copy paintings, and the only stipulation that the Louvre make is that the copy should be a different size to the original.

The Louvre, under the pyramid

Model of the Medieval Louvre

The Medieval Louvre

The original Louvre was built to protect Paris from any river-borne enemies. The original building was rectangular, with ten towers surrounding the central tower. As can be seen from the model on the left and the plans below.

This can all be seen in the basement where they have uncovered some of the original walls.

  Plans of the Medieval Louvre
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