Thursday, July 12, 2012

Visiting the Louvre

Last week we returned from our big European trip! I have over 2,500 photos. Gulp! But, I'm ready to make my first post... our trip to the world famous art museum, the Louvre.

Alex & me in front of the Louvre & I.M. Pei's pyramid
After traveling "all day and all night", we arrived at our hotel by the Louvre about 10:30 a.m. Paris time. Even though we'd only slept about 3-4 hours, we decided to skip a nap and try to stay up until 7 p.m. We walked the few blocks to the Louvre and got lunch at a food court. I had a pizza and Alex had McDonald's - which was very easy as they had a computer you could order from in English!

My brother, who has visited Paris several times before, was able to help us find the 'other' entrance into the Louvre and skip the long lines. Our entry led us through the base of the old medieval fortress. The Louvre was started in 1190 when King Phillipe Auguste built this massive fortress as protection against invaders. Since that time, it has been added to many times, in many styles, to become the Louvre that is known around the world today.

During our visit, we mapped out a few of our "must sees"... those works of art the Louvre is particularly famous for, including Venus de Milo, an ancient Greek statue.

Besides some incredibly famous works of art, I think what sets the Louvre apart is the architecture. Built over centuries, different wings and rooms have different styles. The ceilings, walls, and floors are often as exciting to look at as the art.

Saint Peter Martry - I unfortunately didn't get the name of this work of art & artist
I have enjoyed learning about Saints in art this year, including Saint Denis, who survived decapitation, and Saint Sebastian, who survived being shot by multiple arrors. At the Louvre, I encountered Saint Peter Martyr who had converted from the beliefs of the Cathers to become a Catholic under Pope Innocent III. The Pope appointed him, under an Inquisition, to uncover those who were Cathers, not Catholics. The Cathers were punished with jail or even by being burned at the stake. Two of the men that Peter Martyr hired assassins who attacked him with an axe, wounding him in the head and chest. In the artwork, as above, you can recognize Saint Peter Martyr by an ever-present knife or axe in his head.

Mona Lisa, from behind the crowd
And, of course, we had to see the Mona Lisa! (Even though it isn't one of my favorite works of art.) The crowd around it was amazing! Even when you wait and push your way to the front, there is still a barrier around her and thick glass protecting her. We spent just a few seconds at the front before pushing our way back to the open space. It was pretty funny! But, I suppose everyone who goes to the Louvre has to see Mona Lisa!

We got back to the hotel later than expected, took showers, and went to bed. Alex and I both woke up about 2 a.m..... wide awake and hungry! We took a snack into the bathroom and set on the side of the tub and looked out the window. Even in the middle of the night, it wasn't really dark out! We watched the street below us, and listened as a few noisy groups went by. We had a wonderful time! After about 2 hours, we went back to bed. I think I got up at about 9, but Alex slept until noon! Thankfully, my mom & brother had already been in Europe for about 10 days and were adjusted to the time. They went out and brought us back breakfast.

1 comment:

lahbluebonnet said...

Oooo, I like that secret entrance that you took!

Related Posts with Thumbnails