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Three Hours In The Louvre!

Your here - you have limited time - and you want to tour the Louvre! This is easier said than done. However, here is a three-hour tour that will get you to most of the things you will want to see in the Louvre. Then, after you have touched the surface of the Louvre, you can come back again and search the soul of this masterpiece of a museum.

At best, and even when you know how to get around this place, it is still difficult to do. Therefore, you will want to be sure to have printed this tour out, have it with you, and have a copy of the Plan/Information brochure with you. You can pick up the brochure at the entrance in the Entresol Level.

(NOTE: Until you pick up a copy of this brochure at the Louvre this tour will be meaningless. But, not to worry, as soon as you get the brochure it will begin to make a lot more sense to you.)

Although this tour will not allow you to see everything in the museum, it will give you a very good overview and the walking route will take you past some wonderful works of art. As for the three hours - depends upon how much time you spend admiring the art!

Ready?  Here we go.  Good luck!

While the entrance to the Louvre is through the controversial Pyramid where you will take the escalator down to the Entresol Level, I find it is easier (and quicker) to enter the museum from the subway (underground tunnel) from Rue de l"Amiral de Coligny. There is a Metro stop there (the Louvre Rivoli) and you can just cross the street and follow the signs to enter the subway which will lead you to the Entresol Level and access to the collections.

In the Entresol Level you can check any bags or other personal belongings (which I recommend), purchase your ticket, and be on your way.

Enter the collections through the Denon Access and take the escalator to the ground floor. Remember, at the Entresol Level you were underground and therefore the first level you reach on the escalator is actually the ground floor. Do not stay on this floor as you will want to continue up one more floor to the first floor. It is on the first floor where you can see the Mona Lisa, the Raft of the Medusa, the Virgin with a Child, Winged Victory, the famed Apollo Gallery, and the Napoleon III Apartments.

Upon your arrival to the ground floor, walk to the area where you see the three sets of stairs converging. Walk to this area and turn into the hall marked "B" on your map. This is where you will find Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities. You will want to walk through this hall to the end (You will know if you are in the right place is you see the statue of the Borghese Gladiator.) where you will see some stairs and a sign leading you to the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Follow the sign up the stairs and on the next landing you will find Winged Victory.

From the Winged Victory you will walk into the room marked "75" on your map and continue through this room. You should also see signs leading you to the Mona Lisa and this should give you a clue that you are going in the right direction. When you reach the square room 76, turn to your left and enter room 6. You will find the Mona Lisa in room 6 about half way down and on your left. After viewing this marvelous painting (It's a lot smaller than you expected I'll bet!), go back the way you came to room 76. If you would like to see the Raft of the Medusa, walk to your left into room 77 and you will find the painting about half way down the room. If not, go back the way you came to Winged Victory.

Continue the way you came by walking around the Winged Victory to the left to the stairs again and then continue ahead into a circular room. Just off of this room to your right is the Apollo Gallery. You may want to spend a few minutes here before you continue on. When you exit the Apollo Gallery, turn to your right through room 34 and just as you exit room 34, follow the hallway into room 33. Continue through this room. At the end of this room you will see two sets of stairways, continue straight ahead into room 65 which will lead you to the "19th-Century."

When you reach room 34 (You will know you are in the right room when you can see the Cupboard by Boulle in front of you.), walk to your left through room 33 into the round room 26. When you reach this room you will want to walk to your right into the "17th-Century." Continue through this century to the end of the building and then walk to your left into the "Renaissance." At the end of the Renaissance you will find rooms 7, 6, and 5 and will want to walk straight ahead through these rooms and through the stairwell into the "19th-Century." Walk straight ahead through this century to the end of the room. Notice how quickly you were able to walk through several centuries!

At the end of this room you will walk left through a narrow corridor into the Napoleon III Apartments. This is a very interesting area of the Louver and one that is too often overlooked by visitors. You will be glad you took the time to see this exhibit. The exhibit will lead you back past another stairwell where you will continue straight ahead and through rooms 85, 86, 87, and 88. Straight ahead is a room marked "A" on your brochure. If you would like to take a walk through the "Middle Ages," walk to your left into room 1. If not, continue walking straight ahead to the escalators and take the escalator up to the second floor.

When you reach the next floor, walk towards room 19 and turn to your right into "Flanders" which is the Rubens Room. When you reach the end of this room, turn to your left and keep walking to your left around this wing of the museum. When you reach room 38 you will want to look for the Lacemaker. When you reach the escalator you will want to go back down. NOTE: If you want to see the extensive French collection, which is on this floor, just follow the signs and make the walk around that section of the museum and then return back to the escalator. However, I am no longer to be held responsible for your tour taking over three hours!

Take the escalator down two floors to the Ground Floor and make your way to the Cour Puget where you will find French Sculptures. Make your way to the back right-hand side of of this area to room 33 where you will find a small entrance to Mesopotamia to your right. While here you will want to see the Code of Hammurabi and the Winged Bull from the Palace of Sargon II. Make your way through Mesopotamia to room 6 which will lead you past the toilets (on your left) and into the round room 8 where you will turn to your left.

You should find this an interesting walk as you continue around this section of the museum. Just ahead as you enter this area is room 10. Continue through this room, staying on this level, to the area marked Levant on your brochure. At the end of the building you will walk to your right to the other end of the building and then walk to your right again. About half way through this building you will come to sets of stairways again and you will want to just continue straight ahead on this level into room 13 as it is in the next room you will find Aphrodite, which is known as Venus de Milo. Continue straight ahead through this room filled with Greek Antiquities to room 8 where you will see a small passageway to your right.

Take this passageway to your right and walk through room 17 to the stairs. When you reach this stairway you will want to walk down the stairs to Medieval Louvre. This again is an area of the museum that many people miss. However, because you are on my special "Three-Hour-Tour" you are going to get to see it!

Now, don't get lost in this almost dungeon-like area of the Louvre. When you reach this level, just make your way to the area marked "Medieval Louvre" on your brochure which will take you around the original foundations of this place that date from Medieval times. When you make your way half way around, do not take the stairs, but turn to your right and enter the circular area of the exhibit. This will take you back to where you began your walk through the Medieval louvre. Stay at this level making your way back towards the Reception Area. Along the way you should take a minute and see the interesting exhibit on the History of the Louvre.

Back in the reception area you will wan to claim anything you left at the package check and exit the museum this time by taking the escalator up through the Pyramid to the courtyard and then walk around the fountain towards the Entrance Galerie du Carousel and into the Esplanade des Tuileries. This might be a good time to see this wonderful park. If you do not want to do so, walk to your right over to Rue de Rivoli, cross the street, and enjoy the shopping along this interesting street of shops.


I hope you enjoyed this short visit to the Louvre and that you will return often so you can really see this wonderful museum.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this article, or would like me to add a few of your favorites in and around the Louvre, please contact me. mailto:jimbruner@gettingaway.com

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Date this page was last edited: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 14:27:42

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