The Louvre

The Louvre is the most visited museum and arguably the most renowned museum in the world

Famous Glass Pyramid entrance to the Louvre
Famous Glass Pyramid entrance to the Louvre cc licensed photo by zoetnet

There are few museums anywhere in the world that have attracted more attention than the Louvre. The world's most visited museum, the Louvre is home to in excess of 35000 pieces of art dating from the earliest times to the 19th century and displayed in an exhibition space covering an amazing 650,000 square feet. Some famous pieces of art include The Madonna and Leonardo da Vinci’s Saint Anne, however there are literally thousands more works of art and historical pieces for visitors to view.

The Louvre has a lengthy and interesting history. During the 12th century, Paris was Europe's largest city. To protect the capital from the Anglo Norman threat king, Philippe Auguste, who was reigning at that time, decided to build a garrison to reinforce its western defences on the shores of the River Seine. The large fortress comprised of a moat, a huge tower at the centre of the structure plus other towers encompassed narrow gates at the wall on south and east sides. The solid building had two inner buildings butt against the exterior walls on the south and west sides. This magnificant structure lost its ability to be Paris' defence fortress as the city grew far beyond the original wall by the mid 14th century. Other defences were developed under King Charles V which enclosed the Louvre within the expanding city. In 1364 he commissioned his architect, Raymon du Temple, to transform the ancient garrison into a splendid royal mansion.

Each section of the Louvre has its story to tell and bears the mark of a different influential personality. The Louvre was turned into a museum in 1791 and first opened its doors as such in 1793. The first pieces on display were works of art that were donated or loaned by families that could afford to do so. Since then, the Louvre has simply grown in splendour and has had many galleries added and renovations done to turn it into the amazing museum that it is today.

The Louvre, as with most famous museums, offers floor plans, audio guides and guide books to visitors. It also features a number of cafes, media centres and even a bookstore for those that wish to bring a little of the Louvre home with them. The Tuileries Gardens offer a number of activities for the restless little ones who may not enjoy taking in the art of the Louvre as much as their parents. Instead, they can be amused with boat rides and trampolines and other play area activities in the gardens.

Nearby attractions: Jardin des Tuileries and Museum of Decorative Arts

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Save time and skip the queue Free entry with the Paris Pass and on the first Sunday of each month.

Open Now: Yes! Some attractions may restrict entry prior to their closing time.

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

Phone: 01 40 20 50 50

Official Website: The Louvre

Directions

Metro / RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M1 or M7Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre‎3 minutes

How to get to The Louvre by Metro / RER

By Metro: From Metro Line 1 or 7 exit at Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre‎‎ Station and proceed to your right (west) along Rue de Rivoli and then cross the road to your left and proceed through the arches at Place du Corrousel. The entrance to the the Louvre is in the Glass Pyramid ahead and to your left.

The Louvre is also easily accessed from the Batobus.

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Guide to visiting the Louvre in Paris

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