Housed in a grand palace stretching along the Seine River, the Louvre is one of the largest and most important museums in the world, displaying over 300,000 objects.
- Go Historic ID
- Go Historic URL
- Short URL
- Louvre Museum
- Heritage Lists
- Rue de Rivoli
- 48.860868° N, 2.336655° E
- Date Published
- October 8, 2013
- Last Updated
- April 11, 2015
Description of the Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum is extremely large and impossible to see in its entirety in a single day. Visitors are advised to plan a visit based on their particular interests and spread their time over several days if possible. The color-coded maps provided by the museum are excellent for planning, showing the locations and highlights of each department and pointing out exactly where to find the most famous exhibits.
The layout of the historic Palais du Louvre and its multiple floors can make navigation confusing, but the museum is otherwise one of the most visitor-friendly in Europe. The exhibits are beautifully presented, well-labeled and well-lit; the allowance of photography (except in the Paintings department) contributes to the enjoyment of the exhibits and relaxed atmosphere. The departments and room numbers are clearly marked with signs.
The museum's galleries are clean and spacious, making a visit a generally relaxed experience despite the millions of annual visitors. An exception, of course, is the Mona Lisa, which attracts tightly-packed crowds and can be rather unpleasant. Only slightly smaller crowds congregate around the Venus de Milo and Virgin of the Rocks, but that leaves almost 35,000 objects left to enjoy in peace. The inevitable museum fatigue can be soothed by frequent use of benches, the cooling fountain around the Pyramid outside and two on-site cafÃ©s.
The collections of the Louvre are divided into eight departments plus the Medieval Louvre (a section of the 12th-century fortress) and Primitive Arts sections. These are spread over four floors in three wings: Denon (south); Sully (east); and Richelieu (north).
The royal collections housed in Paris are opened to the public as the Musée de la République, later to be known as the Louvre Museum.
King Francis I begins royal art collection
King Francis I, a patron of the arts who invited Leonardo da Vinci to work in France, begins the royal art collection that will eventually become the Louvre Museum.
I. M. Pei's Louvre Pyramid completed
Architect I. M. Pei completes of the Louvre Pyramid as part of his major renovation of the Louvre Museum and its courtyard.