10 Special Things You Should Do at Le Louvre

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MonaLisa
ONE
Get there early. Walk up to the Mona Lisa through the uninhabited halls of Le Louvre
Along the way, you will ascend the empty Daru Staircase up to the Winged Victory of Samothrace
(with all the drama of reaching the summit)
The galleries are barren, though there is a sense of urgency. Occasionally a visitor with rush-by, until a museum guard instructs them to walk
Within an hour this route will be clogged with visitors, some rooms will be closed, so that the flow of visitors only goes one-way (towards the Mona Lisa)
To see this before it becomes congested is a Special Thing

TWO
Plan Your Route Negotiate the Maze of Le Louvre
We like Paintings, so we start on the First Floor of the Denon Wing (which is actually the 2nd Floor)
Then we move over to 2nd Floor (actually the 3rd Floor) of the Richelieu Wing

THREE
Soak-in the Light of the Courtyards (Cours)
(at one time these were external spaces, now covered by high-tech sky-lights)

FOUR
Rent an Audio Guide
Obtain a Token for the Guide off the Main Entry Hall
Trade this for an audio unit at the entry to any wing at the top of the escalator
One disappointing element of an Audio Guide is just returning the unit, there is sometimes a LONG slow moving line
(one solution may be to pick-up the audio guide at the Sully or Richelieu Wing, which are less busy)

FIVE
Take a break at the cafe up near the entry to the Richelieu Wing
Everything is Expensive – the Line is long and slow moving
(with little of the speed and efficiency of your local McDonald’s)
Consider bringing-in a small picnic
(one year be brought a small box of Macaroons from Eric Kayser)

SIX
Master the Maze
A multi-year project: to be familiar with the floor plan
To weave though the rooms and see everything most efficiently
To Not Get Lost, or to recover once you are lost
To find that famous piece of art
And most importantly, to exit Le Louvre
(you have taxed your endurance, just want to leave, but it is not so easy)

SEVEN
To Love the Sully Wing
We neglect the Sully Wing, but there is so much to see
Venus de Milo
The Rooms of this oldest wing, which still shows evidence of the Living Quarters for Kings and Queens
The Basement and its signs of the medieval old wall and moat
There are some good paintings to see, although on the average they are smaller paintings in smaller more common bare and boring rooms

EIGHT
To appreciate the Outside of Le Louvre
The Courtyards, Entry Gates, Fountains, Pyramids and Sculpture
The Adornments on the Facade of the Building on Multi Levels
86 Statutes of Important Men (and Puti on the higher floors)
Imagining the historical significance of this space is overwhelming

NINE
To savor the people in Le Louvre (in the lines, in the galleries, the security guards, the curators and staff)
To observe the intrusive tour guides and be a spectator of cultural differences
To keep a calm presence in this bee-hive of cell phones and selfies and tourists
But, when you are tempted to be a little judgemental, remember “you too are a tourist”

TEN
Sketch, Record, Write, Research and be a Sponge
(and try to keep the cell phone in your pack)

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