10 General facts about visiting the Louvre Museum
- With more than 9 millions visitors a year, the Louvre (In French: Musée du Louvre) is one of the most visited art museums in the world. Most of the time the waiting lines are very long. So it’s better to buy your ticket online (tickets official site, starting at €13.10) or to buy a Paris Museum Pass (official site, starting at €39) so you can skip the waiting line. You can also enter through the Carrousel du Louvre or Porte des Lions and not through the main entrance at the pyramid. These are less crowded.
- The museum contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art from prehistory to the 19th century. So it’s almost impossible to see them all. The most famous ones are Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (also known as La Joconda), Venus de Milo a Greek statue of Aphrodite and The Winged Victory of Samothrace, a colossal, headless statue of the winged Greek goddess Nike. For 10 must-see works, click here.
- If you don’t want to get lost in the massive collection, the Louvre website offers a number of thematic visitor trails. You’ll get information about the works, artists and how to get there. There are themes as: Masterpieces, Greek Sculpture and Italian Renaissance. There is even one about The Da Vinci Code. You’ll find them here.
- The collection is spread out over three wings: the Richelieu wing, the Sully wing and the Denon wing (plan of the museum). Richelieu comes from Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, a faithful ministre of Louis XIII. Sully comes from Maximilien de Béthune (duke of Sully), a minister of Henry IV of Navarre. Both have a statue on the outside of the Louvre. Denon comes from Dominique Vivant (Baron de Denon) the first director of the museum who became director during the reign of Napoleon I.
- Don’t plan to visite the Louvre on Tuesday. Although it’s less crowded, it’s closed… It’s also closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25.
- If you don’t want to spend your money on culture, no excuses. The entrance is free for all visitors on the first Sunday of each month and on July 14. It’s also free for visitors under the age of 18, 18-25 year old residents of the European Economic Area, disabled visitors and their guest or helper, on friday evenings (from 6 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.) for under-26s and so on. For more see here.
- If you want a selfie in front of the Mona Lisa, it’s permitted! You can take photos or make videos for personal use, at least if you don’t use your flash. In the temporary exhibitions, using a camera or video is prohibited.
- The Louvre wasn’t always a museum. The Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) was originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century under Philip II. You still can see its foundations in the basement level as the “Medieval Louvre” department. It’s also used as a royal palace. On 10 August 1793 The Louvre Palace opened as a museum for the first time with an exhibition of 537 paintings.
- The large glass Pyramid entrance in the centre of the Louvre is almost as famous as the museum itself. Commissioned by the President of France François Mitterrand in 1984, it was designed by the architect I. M. Pei. Many believe that the glass panes in the Louvre Pyramid number exactly 666, the number of the beast (often associated with Satan). But in fact the Pyramid contains 673 glass panes. There is also an inverted Pyramid inside.
- The origin of the name Louvre is unclear. Some believe the Louvre received its name from a Frankish word leovar or leower, signifying a fortified place, but this is almost certainly not true.