When planning to experience an iconic museum like the Louvre, it’s best to go prepared. That said, I will be presenting some of the unique and interesting facts about the Louvre Museum in Paris.
While visiting Paris, don’t visit the Louvre museum just in daytime, I highly recommend visiting the illuminated Louvre Museum in the evening. Even if you are short on time, try to spare a few hours from your Paris itinerary in the late afternoon hours so that you can catch a glimpse of the shinning Louvre pyramid when the sun sets. I’m going to present some of the less-known and interesting facts about the Louvre Museum.
Interesting facts about The Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum has been on my bucket list for a long time. The movies being shot around the Louvre Museums and its World War II history always intrigued me. So, I present some of the mind-blowing facts about the Louvre Museum –
Louvre Museum commenced as a Fort/Bastion
Symbolizing wealth & power of the French Empire. It was designed under Europe’s most successful ruler – Philip Augustus (Philip II) in a way to prevent invasion and used for shielding purposes.
The fortress was destroyed to be converted into a Royal Residence
It was first modified in the 14th century and was demolished later in the 15th century as Francis I rooted for a new renaissance style structure. Francis I is known to promote the French language and is hence recognized as ‘The Father & Restorer of Letters‘. As a prodigious art lover, he magnetized various Italian artist and also invited Leonardo Da Vinci who then brought Mona Lisa to France.
Louvre was not Mona Lisa’s first royal home
Post Da Vinci’s death in 1519, purchasing the painting from his assistant, Francis I kept the painting for many years in a variety of royal palaces. When the French Monarchy fell and the Louvre was declared as a Museum, it was the time when Mona Lisa found its permanent home.
The Louvre Museum was temporarily renamed as ‘Musée Napoleon’
When Napoleon Bonaparte took over France, he took everything under his power and renamed the centuries-old museum with his name. After Napoleon’s fall in the 18th century, the museum regained its name back.
The Louvre Museum served as a clearinghouse during Nazi reign in WW II
When a massive army was approaching France, the custodians of the museum decided to evacuate the museum including all the artwork, except sculptures as they were difficult to move. When Nazis ordered the re-opening of the Louvre museum they found the museum to be empty and hence converted it to a storeroom.
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The Louvre Museum
The visit to the French capital cannot be complete without a visit to the quintessential Louvre Museum. World’s largest museum (area wise) ~ Louvre is a major landmark associated with Paris city. The museum started somewhere in 1790’s & now showcases thousands of the world’s finest artworks. Louvre Museum is World’s Second most visited Museum recognized for its architecture, renowned art collection, sculptures, and paintings including the iconic Mona Lisa.
Suggested Read – Things to know before visiting Paris.
The Louvre museum comprises of two main attractions – one being the Musée du Louvre itself and the other being Arc De Triomphe Du Carrousel.
As I entered the premises, I was completely mesmerized by the grandeur of the museum. Over the years, various movies were shot in the museum, although most notably a thriller – Da Vinci Code – put the spotlight on the museum, if you’re a Dan Brown fan and want to live the ‘Da Vinci Moment‘ – visiting Louvre(in the evening) is a must.
Check out the places to visit if you’re a Dan Brown fan!
#Arc De Triomphe Du Carrousel
The Arc De Triomphe Du Carrousel monument was built at the beginning of the eighteenth century by Napoleon I to celebrate his victory of 1805 war. The arch was originally envisioned to be an entry point for Tuileries Palace. Although fire demolished the Palace towards the end of the eighteenth century, it was then decided that the arch is well-suited to be a stand-alone monument for great views of Champ-Elysées.
The Arc De Triomphe Du Carrousel monument has a beautiful structure in tones of rose-gold and is built on the models of Arch of Septimius Severus & Arch of Constantine in Rome. Quadriga – A chariot pulled by four horses with peace propagators – was placed at the top of the monument. Napoleon brought the original Quadriga aka “The Horses of Saint Mark’s” from St. Mark Basilica in Venice, but were later returned in 1815 and a copy of the same structure was made to crown the Arch. The upper band of the arch proudly showcases the soldiers who served in the Napoleonic army.
I actually did intensive research after visiting the Louvre Museum admiring its architecture & art and have now developed a deep interest in European History. In fact, I’m even planning to purchase/borrow some books to gain more insights on the same. Isn’t it wonderful, how merely by visiting some places you develop a sense of inquisitiveness and aspire to dig for more information?
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Have you been to the Louvre Museum yet? Share your experience with me.
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— The Wanderer