Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 2: Le Louvre

DAY 2 of a week in Paris - Monday

Le Louvre et Champs-Elysées

  • BREAKFAST: la patisserie below the apartment
  • Le Louvre - today's post
  • LUNCH: Angelina tea salon. 226 Rue de Rivoli (between Rues d'Alger and de Castiglione)
  • Tuilleries
  • Madeleine Church & Place de la Concorde
  • Place Vendome
  • Arc de Triomphe - view Paris (daily 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.)
  • Champs-Elysées
  • DINNER: La Boutique à Sandwiches. 12 Rue du Colisée (between Rue de Ponethieu and Ave des Champs-Elysées)
  • Buddha Bar (8 rue Boissy d'Anglais, near Place de la Concorde)

Right next door to the Tuileries gardens, the Louvre sits like a grand jewel in the center of the Paris crown. Dating back to the 12th century when it was a fortress, then a residence, its history is long and complex (of course).

I have us visiting the Louvre on Monday, but in fact Nancy and I visited a second time on the following Sunday in 1997. The reason? We wanted to see more, and we're cheapskates - you can get in for free on Sundays. The downside to that, of course, is that you have to wait in line for quite a while. I think we waited an hour. But if you are in Paris more than a week, it's nice if you can make a couple of visits here, and spread out the vast collections. They say if you stopped in front of each work for 15 seconds it would take a month solid to view every work in the museum.

Personally, I find large museums incredibly daunting, and not too pleasant. Walking the long galleries of the Louvre - as long as a football field or two - is torturous for me. Like mall walking, when fatigue sets in because the pace is too slow. I much prefer the small house museums, such as the Picasso and Rodin.

But you must go, of course, and to see the collections in bite sizes is my recommendation. I never plan to visit for more than two hours, and I set out to see specific works.

On the first visit I recommend "Louvre Lite" - seeing the highlights, which gets you moving at a faster pace, you can even jog between them if you wish:

  • Mary Magdalene by Erhart on the Lower Ground floor - my personal favorite; read here to see why.
  • Venus de Milo on the Ground floor
  • Mona Lisa and Winged Victory on the First floor

The handy map they give you displays the highlights.

Next post: Angelina Tea Salon - a less overwhelming subject.


Susan said...

Two hours is about all I can do in a museum, too. After that, my brain goes mushy. The building itself is a work of art. So beautiful and imposing.

Dakota Bear said...

Ruth in November 2001 I spent a week in Paris. Most of that time I spent at the Louvre, but I was not able to get to the Denon wing.

I still have not been to the Rodin, but it is on my list to see the next time I'm in Paris.

Peter said...

Yes, of course you have to make the Louvre piece by piece - if you have the time! ... and we may all have our favourites! To try to find out first and then concentrate on those!

I see that you have again some good addresses!

Ruth said...

Susie, when you get to Paris, you'll want to sit around the fountains of the Tuileries and stare at the building, while you rest your weary legs.

Ruth said...

Dakota Bear, wow, you are serious. That's wonderful.

I've been watching an instructive DVD series on the Louvre that my friend loaned me, and now I think I could go back and spend more time there. I was ill equipped before.

The Rodin is splendid, and so is the Picasso. I hope you'll do both.

Ruth said...

Oh and so is the little Delacroix up on Montmartre.

Ruth said...

Peter, I wonder what your favorites are.

I love the slave statue too, by Michelangelo.

Sandy said...

Oh wow, I'm so behind on stuff ...want to say I love your blog "Small" the photos are wonderful!!

take care....can't wait to hear more about wedding preps..

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sandy!

Roeland said...

Good blogpost. Pitty the floorplans are fuzzy. Could you increase quality?