Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Louvre Part 1 of 3 - Solo Sunday at the Louvre.

First Sunday's of each month, entry into Paris Museums are FREE! So finally, I've decided to take advantage of this opportunity although most people have told me the lines to the museums are extraordinarily loooong, this was not the case at all.

I arrived outside the Louvre Pyramid entry at 9:15AM (The museum opens at 9:00), the line was short and I was inside in less then 10 minutes. Since there's so much to see, I narrowed my interest to 3 areas for this visit. I wanted to see the Medieval Louvre, History of the Louvre Palace and The Napoleon Apartments (anything that sounds like real estate peaks my interest).

This blog entry would be 2o pages if I wrote about everything I learned and saw, so instead, I will break up the entries over the next few days and just show a few photos of each section.

If you want to know more, you absolutely must take a tour. I also highly recommend spending the 6 euros for the guided tour headsets (especially if you visit on a free first Sunday) . It's like having your private tour guide, historian and art curator at your side to repeat anything you didn't understand at the tap of an electronic key pad. I love that little gadget!

Approaching the entry, I feared long lines. But there were none.

Free Entry! This is where I entered the very short line.

First on my agenda. History.

Model of the original Louvre Palace/Fortress.

The original Louvre Palace was built at the beginning of the 13th century (year 1200) by King Philip II Augustus to defend Paris against the Normans and the English. The small rectangle wall which supported the palace drawbridge and the foundation columns behind, still exist just around the corner from this exhibit. (see photo below)

Columns and the original drawbridge wall. Fascinating!

More of the original Louvre Palace.
Scale of the Medieval Louvre. Part of the center round tower also still stands in the basement of the Louvre. (see photo below)
The Medieval Walls were discovered in the 1980's during the construction of the Pyramid renovation.
The center tower walls.
More Medieval Louvre.

I enjoyed hours listening to the fascinating history, staring at the walls, and replaying the guide soundtrack over and over until I understood the key points. This Sunday was perfectly spent alone (among a light crowd of tourist) as I'm sure my friends would not have had the patience to wait for me to listen to a soundtrack three times over.
After browsing the History Section, I enjoyed a solo lunch at one of the Louvre cafes, while continuing to listen and watch the recorded tours on the tour guide gadget.
After lunch I toured the Napoleon Apartments and More of Louver History, which I will post on the blog later this week.

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