10 Special Things You Should Do at Le Louvre

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ONE une, un
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 the halls 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
Plan Your Route through Le Louvre floor plan
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

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

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)
The Denon Wing quickly becomes congrested, probably due to “Lisa”

FIVE cinq
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)
(we noticed that the inefficient cafe was replace by a Starbucks, which seem notoriously expensive in Paris)

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 sept
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 and less ornate rooms (it almost feels like the Budget Louvre)

EIGHT huit
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 higher on the building)
Imagining the historical significance of this space is overwhelming

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

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

Other Louvre Top Ten Links

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