Most would agree that a trip to Paris is incomplete if it lacks a visit to the Louvre Museum which houses artifacts all over the world dating back as far as nine centuries ago. Can you imagine? The museum is truly a theme park of historic treasures which can’t be covered in just a full day’s exploration. We arrived outside of the Louvre by bus just before 9 AM and fortunately dodged the herds of visitors who stormed in soon after. We also got very lucky with our visit to Mona Lisa, which only required about a fifteen minute wait. Again, no sooner did we walk away from our short 15 second time slot with her and I kid not at least one thousand people were getting impatient as the line just grew longer and more tiresome. Our day was loaded with fun activities, so given our time constraints we covered as much ground as we could in about four hours – not nearly enough to see much at the Louvre!
One of the especially cool areas we explored in the museum was the French sculptured statues, some of which are seen above. Joan of Arc listening to the voices calling upon her and Hercules battling Achelous transformed as a snake were a few that made quite an impression on us. The physical features of these statues, such as the facial expressions or the swirly beards, were so remarkably realistic that it was obvious their artists were in touch with the human essence and were able to so delicately reproduce it through such fine, timeless art.
The Louvre is an extraordinary museum. One moment you’re exploring some of the greatest French and Roman sculptures towering over you, and next you’re confronted by the largest Egyptian Sphinx outside of Egypt, stretching five meters long and weighing 24 tons- among other interesting ancient Egyptian artifacts such as household items like original wood chairs and drawers. An ancient bed set up sits at the center of the photo below, with what appears to be a wooden headrest that was used as a pillow by ancient Egyptians. It’s amazing how civilizations centuries ago relied on the same necessities that we do today – but had to design them themselves with the raw materials in their environment.
The Louvre holds some of the oldest original artifacts in the world, and even the building itself is also very old and historical. The original structure was built as a fortress in the 12th century by King Philip II to protect Paris from English soldiers coming from Normandy. One of the walkways to the exhibits reveals some of the stone wall that makes up the original structure from the medieval period. To walk within these walls that have stood the test of time, nine hundred plus years, was truly a memorable experience.
Reality is Jessie and I aren’t much of history buffs, nor are we avid art critics yet we still enjoy museums and since the Louvre has a truly diverse collection of art it makes it captivating for almost anyone. I think the context of the experience is what makes it so unique as well – like, there we were at the largest art museum in the world, in France of all places!