Although going to a museum may not be an ideal tourist destination for many people out there, going to the world’s largest art museum is definitely something that people of all backgrounds would put on their wish list, and that is exactly what the Louvre Museum is. Located right along the Seine River, it is one of the top tourist destinations in Paris with a truly massive collection of works of art available for all of the world to see.
If you’ve seen pictures of the Louvre Museum, you may just recognize a large glass pyramid-like structure sitting in the middle of an open courtyard of sorts. In reality, what you are looking at is the Louvre Palace, which is what houses the Louvre Museum itself. Originally built as a fortresses in the late 12th century, that fortress was eventually converted to a Palace and over time became home to the Louvre Museum, with the museum occupying almost all of the Place today.
And as you can expect, having a museum situated in a large Palace lends itself to having a wide range of collections available on display. However, most people don’t realize that a lot of the artwork on display has changed dramatically throughout the years. For example, when Napoleon was a prominent figure in France, a lot of artwork from conquered locations was displayed in the Louvre Museum. And when he came out of power, many of those pieces of art were returned to their original owners. But while not all of the artwork previously displayed in the Louvre Museum is still available today, there is still plenty of artwork available for viewing.
There is artwork of all kinds, including paintings and sculptures. However, the most famous piece of artwork in the Louvre Museum is none other than the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. In fact, if you want to seek out this famous painting for yourself, simply walk around the museum until you find a jam-packed room full of people crowding towards one end of the room – that is where you can find the Mona Lisa. And keep in mind that while will definitely want to see the painting for yourself, there is a strict rule forbidding flash photography so make sure to comply or else you will promptly be escorted from the museum (I actually saw it happen firsthand to a tourist who apparently didn’t know the rules regarding flash photography).
Other than the Mona Lisa though, there really is a lot of different styles of artwork available. By this I mean that it isn’t all just European artwork on display here. In addition to art from European countries, there are pieces of artwork from Africa as well as from Asia, with artwork spanning multiple centuries for each. In other words, you will not get bored due to looking at the same style of art over and over, because that is not what the Louvre Museum is all about. Because of their expansive collections, you can rest assured that you won’t only not get bored, but you will actually be able to find something interesting that draws your attention and ultimately makes your visit worthwhile.
Even if you have reservations about going to a museum, especially as a tourist in particular, keep in mind that the Louvre Museum is an exception to the rule, because there is truly no museum quite like the Louvre Museum. Being home to one of the most expansive collections of art in the world, all while situated in a historic palace in the heart of Paris, the Louvre Museum is a destination that no one will want to miss, no matter what their inclinations on museums are in the first place!