On Monday, it was time to make visit the site that I chose to go to Paris for in the first place - The Louvre.
What is The Louvre? It's only one of the largest, best museums in the world. It has some of the most famous works of art there, such as the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, etc. This museum, by itself would have made the money I spent worth it. It was that good. Now, I'm not a big fan of art. I really had very little understanding of what most of the art was that I was looking at. I was only familiar with a few of the more famous works of art they had there, but even with my very limited knowledge, this place is a site to behold.
The art is absolutely fantastic. I have never seen so much great art in my life. It is clear by looking at any of the art in this place, that the people who did this, are very talented. The sculptures were very life-like. Some of the paintings were huge. They had paintings there that were at least 20-30 feet lone and a good 10-15 feet high! Plus, for most of the art, there was nothing between you and the art, but a small little 'fence' at the bottom of the wall. You could literally reach out and touch any of the art. Of course you can't touch the art, because they'd probably arrest you and throw you out for damaging it, but still, the thought that you are that close to art that is worth millions, is kind of mind-boggling.
The building is also huge. It is a large, U shaped building, with several floors. Each side of the 'U' is several city blocks long! I guess because of the buildings immense size, it never feels cramped inside. Despite the fact that you have rooms containing 30 foot long paintings, no room really feels 'cluttered'. Everything is nicely spaced out. There is lots of room to walk around, lots of benches to sit on, and in general, it is a very nicely laid out museum.
The building is also spotless. The inside of the place is incredibly clean. There is no dirt, or signs of age to be seen anywhere. While the outside of the building looks fairly old, the inside looks entirely brand new. This seems to be the way most buildings are in Paris - 'classic look' on the outside, and brand new inside. It's clear that Paris tries to keep the classic look of their buildings while being as modern as possible inside.
One problem with the building, as it is with many buildings in Paris, is that it is confusing as hell! The building has multiple floors. When you enter the museum, you pick up a museum map (conveniently available in several languages, including English). This map lists every room in the building and what types of exibits there are in that room. Sounds simple right? It's not. The problem is that each floor is made up of multiple levels. There are staircases everywhere. This means that at any given time, you may be on several 'levels' of the same floor. It reaches the point where you get completely lost. Am I still on the 2nd floor, or is this the third floor? After a while you just end up wandering until you've seen every room.
I had expected it to take me several days to be able to see the entire museum, but I was able to see the entire thing in one day. I suppose had I stopped in each room and read up on each piece of art and stayed to 'appreciate' each one longer, it could have taken longer. I still greatly enjoyed the trip though. It was a beautiful place. I took a lot of pictures here. Below are a few photos from the Louvre that I took.
The Entrance to the Louvre, and the climax of The Da Vinci Code
Approaching Winged Victory
Winged Victory of Samothrace
Venus de Milo
A famous sculpture I can't remember the name of...
Some of the huge paintings