An obligatory stop on any visit to Paris, the magnificent Louvre Museum welcomes almost 9 million visitors a year to its extensive art collections, but the building is a piece of history in itself.
Fortress, Palace, Museum…
Originally a medieval fortress on the right bank of the Seine – in the city’s 1st arrondissement – the Louvre protected the French capital during the reign of King Philippe Auguste (1190-1202). It wasn’t until the second half of the 14th century that King Charles V made it his home, and the Louvre Palace was born. Following the fall of the French monarchy the building’s purpose changed once again to become home to thousands of pieces of the nation’s art collection, back in 1793.
The Louvre is home to items spanning a period of nearly 5,000 years, from ancient cultures (Oriental, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman) as well as Western and Islamic civilisations. Europe’s largest museum immerses its visitors in 460 000 works from around the world, including some major emblems of World Heritage such as the Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa or the Eugène Delacroix painting, “La liberté guidant le peuple” ("Liberty Leading the People”). With 210,000 m2 including 60,600 m2 of galleries the Louvre hosts a wide variety of artworks: paintings, sculptures, sketches, ceramics, and archaeological artefacts amongst others. In fact, there’s so much to see that it would take at least 3 days to experience all that the Louvre has to offer.
Whether alone, or in a group, there’s more than one way to explore the museum's collections; multimedia guides for adults and children ensure a more interactive experience. For groups, let one of the specialist Louvre guides take you through the halls and galleries.
By metro: Line 1 - Metro Stop Palais-Royal/Musée du Louvre
By bus: bus n° 21,24,27,39,48,68,69,72,81,95 Paris l'Open Tour: bus stop opposite the Pyramid Velib stops near the museum: n°1015 : 2 place A. Malraux n°1023 : 165 rue Saint-Honoré n°1014 : 5 rue de l’Echelle n°1013 : 186 rue Saint-Honoré
By car: underground car park accessible from Avenue du Général Lemonier every day 7.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m.
By Batobus: EscaleLouvre, quai François Mitterrand