The Full Wiki

Louvre: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Louvre

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 48°51′37″N 2°20′15″E / 48.860395°N 2.337599°E / 48.860395; 2.337599

Musée du Louvre

The Louvre palace (Sully wing)
Louvre is located in Paris
Shown within Paris
Established 1793
Location Palais Royal, Musée du Louvre,
75001 Paris, France
Type Art museum, Design/Textile Museum, Historic site
Visitor figures 8.3 million (2007)[1]
8.5 million (2008)[2]
Director Henri Loyrette
Curator Marie-Laure de Rochebrune
Public transit access Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre Metro-M.svg Paris m 1 jms.svg Paris m 7 jms.svg

The Musée du Louvre (French pronunciation: [myze dy luvʁ]), or officially the Grand Louvre — in English, the Louvre Museum or Great Louvre, or simply the Louvre — is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited museum in the world, and a historic monument. It is a central landmark of Paris, France and is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (district). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet).

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which began as a fortress built in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are still visible. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1672, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of antique sculpture.[3] In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years.[4] During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the nation's masterpieces.

The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being confiscated church and royal property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The size of the collection increased under Napoleon when the museum was renamed the Musée Napoléon. After his defeat at Waterloo, many works seized by Napoleon's armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and gifts since the Third Republic, except during the two World Wars. As of 2008, the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.



Medieval, Renaissance, and Bourbon palace

The only portion of the medieval Louvre still visible[5]

The Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which houses the museum was begun as a fortress by Philip II in the 12th century, with remnants of this building still visible in the crypt.[5] It is not known if this was the first building on that spot, but it is possible that Philip modified an existing tower.[6] The etymology of the name Louvre is also uncertain: it may refer to the structure's status as the largest in late 12th century Paris (from the French L'Œuvre, masterpiece), its location in a forest (from the French rouvre, oak), or, according to Larousse, a wolf-hunting den (via Latin: lupus, lower Empire: lupara).[6][7]

The Louvre Palace was altered frequently throughout the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building into a residence and in 1546, Francis I renovated the site in French Renaissance style.[8] Francis acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvre's holdings, his acquisitions including Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.[9] After Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682, constructions slowed; however, the move permitted the Louvre to be used as a residence for artists.[8][10][11]

By the mid-18th century there were an increasing number of proposals to create a public gallery with Lafont Saint-Yenne publishing, in 1747, a call for the royal collection's display.[12] In 1750, Louis XV agreed and sanctioned the display of some of the royal collection in the Louvre. A hall was opened for public viewing on Wednesdays and Saturdays and contained Andrea del Sarto's Charity and works by Raphael.[13] Under Louis XVI, the royal museum idea became policy.[12] The comte d'Angiviller broadened the collection and in 1776 proposed conversion of the Grande Galerie—which contained maps—into the "French Museum".[13] Many proposals were offered for the Louvre's renovation into a museum, however none was agreed on. Hence the museum remained incomplete until the French Revolution.[13]

French Revolution

During the French Revolution the Louvre was transformed into a public museum. In May 1791, the Assembly declared that the Louvre would be "a place for bringing together monuments of all the sciences and arts".[13] On 10 August 1792, Louis XVI was imprisoned and the royal collection in the Louvre became national property. Because of fear of vandalism or theft, on 19 August, the National Assembly pronounced the museum's preparation as urgent. In October, a committee to "preserve the national memory" began assembling the collection for display.[14]


Antonio Canova's Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss was commissioned in 1787, and the first version was donated to the Louvre after the reign of Napoleon I in 1824.[15]

The museum opened on 10 August 1793, the first anniversary of the monarchy's demise. The public was given free access on three days per week, which was "perceived as a major accomplishment and was generally appreciated".[16] The collection showcased 537 paintings and 184 objects of art. Three quarters were derived from the royal collections, the remainder from confiscated émigrés and Church property (biens nationaux).[17][18] To expand and organize the collection, the Republic dedicated 100,000 livres per year.[13] In 1794, France's revolutionary armies began bringing pieces from across Europe, such as Laocoön and His Sons and the Apollo Belvedere, to establish the Louvre as a museum and as a "sign of popular sovereignty".[17][19]

The early days were hectic; artists lived in residence, and the unlabelled paintings hung "frame to frame from floor to ceiling".[17] The building itself closed in May 1796 because of structural deficiencies. It reopened on 14 July 1801, arranged chronologically and with new lighting and columns.[17]

Napoleon I

Under Napoleon I, a northern wing paralleling the Grande Galerie was begun, and the collection grew through successful military campaigns.[20] Following the Egyptian campaign of 1798–1801, Napoléon appointed the museum's first director, Dominique Vivant Denon. In tribute, the museum was renamed the "Musée Napoléon" in 1803, and Spanish, Austrian, Dutch, and Italian works were acquired as spoils.[21] After the French defeat at Waterloo, the former owners sought their return. The Louvre's administrators were loath to comply and hid many works in their private collections. In response, foreign states sent emissaries to London to seek help, and many pieces were returned, even some that had been restored by the Louvre.[21][22]

Restoration and Second Empire

The Venus de Milo was added to the Louvre's collection during the reign of Louis XVIII.

During the Restoration (1814–30), Louis XVIII and Charles X between them added 135 pieces at a cost of 720,000 francs. This was less than the amount given for rehabilitation of Versailles, and the Louvre suffered relative to the rest of Paris. After the creation of the French Second Republic in 1848, the new government allocated two million francs for repair work and ordered the completion of the Galerie d'Apollon, the Salon Carré, and the Grande Galerie.[23] On 2 December 1851, President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte staged a coup d'état, ushering in the Second French Empire. Between 1852 and 1870, the French economy grew; the museum added 20,000 new pieces to its collections, and the Pavillon de Flore and the Grande Galerie were remodelled under architects Louis Visconti and Hector Lefuel.[23]

Third Republic and World Wars

During the French Third Republic the Louvre acquired new pieces mainly via donations and gifts. The Société des Amis du Louvre donated the Pietà of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, and in 1863 an expedition uncovered the sculpture Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Aegean Sea. This piece, though heavily damaged, has been prominently displayed since 1884.[24] More than 7,000 works arrived after the acquisition of the Campana, Durand, Salt, and Drovetti collections. The 389 item Collection Lacaze, included Rembrandts, such as Bathsheba at Her Bath.[24]

Museum expansion slowed after World War I, and the collection did not acquire many significant new works; exceptions were Georges de La Tour's Saint Thomas and Baron Edmond de Rothschild's (1845–1934) 1935 donation of 4,000 engravings, 3,000 drawings, and 500 illustrated books.[18] During World War II the museum removed most of the art and hid valuable pieces. On 27 August 1939, after two days of packing, truck convoys began to leave Paris. By 28 December, the museum was cleared of most works, except those that were too heavy and "unimportant paintings [that] were left in the basement".[25] In early 1945, after the liberation of France, art began returning to the Louvre.[26]

21st century

The Musée du Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments with more than 60,600 square metres (652,000 sq ft) dedicated to the permanent collection.[27] The Louvre exhibits sculptures, objets d'art, paintings, drawings, and archaeological finds.[18] It is the world's most visited museum, averaging 15,000 visitors per day, 65 percent of whom are tourists.[28][29] In popular culture, the Louvre was a point of interest in the book The Da Vinci Code and the 2006 film based on the book. The museum earned $2.5 million by allowing filming in its galleries.[30][31]


The Louvre is owned by the French government; however, since the nineties it has become more independent.[28][32][33][34] Since 2003, the museum has been required to generate funds for projects.[33] By 2006, government funds had dipped from 75 percent of the total budget to 62 percent. In 2008, the French government provided $180 million of the Louvre's yearly $350 million budget; the remainder came from private contributions and ticket sales.[32]

The Louvre employs a staff of 2,000 led by Director Henri Loyrette, who reports to the French Ministry of Culture and Communications. Under Loyrette, who replaced Pierre Rosenberg in 2001, the Louvre has undergone policy changes that allow it to lend and borrow more works than before.[28][33] In 2006, it loaned 1,300 works, which enabled it to borrow more foreign works. From 2006 to 2009, the Louvre will lend artwork to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, and will receive a $6.9 million payment to be used for renovations.[33] In addition, the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi generated further income for the museum. Loyrette has tried to improve weak parts of the collection through income generated from loans of art and by guaranteeing that "20% of admissions receipts will be taken annually for acquisitions".[33] He has more administrative independence for the museum and achieved 90 percent of galleries to be open daily, as opposed to 80 percent previously. He oversaw the creation of extended hours and free admission on Friday nights and an increase in the acquisition budget to $36 million from $4.5 million.[32][33]

Grand Louvre and the Pyramids

The Louvre Palace is an almost rectangular structure, composed of the square Cour Carrée and two wings which wrap the Cour Napoléon to the north and south. In the heart of the complex is the Louvre Pyramid, above the visitor's center. The museum is divided into three wings: the Sully Wing to the east, which contains the Cour Carrée and the oldest parts of the Louvre; the Richelieu Wing to the north; and the Denon Wing, which borders the Seine to the south.[35]

Panoramic view of the Musée du Louvre from the Jardin des Tuileries

In 1983, French President François Mitterrand proposed the Grand Louvre plan to renovate the building and relocate the Finance Ministry, allowing displays throughout the building. Architect I. M. Pei was awarded the project and proposed a glass pyramid for the central courtyard.[36] The pyramid and its underground lobby were inaugurated on 15 October 1988. The second phase of the Grand Louvre plan, La Pyramide Inversée (The Inverted Pyramid), was completed in 1993. As of 2002, attendance had doubled since completion.[29]


The Seated Scribe from Saqqara, Egypt, limestone and alabaster, circa 2600 and 2350 BCE [37]

The Musée du Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments.[38]

Egyptian antiquities

The department, comprising over 50,000 pieces,[39] includes artifacts from the Nile civilizations which date from 4,000 BCE to the 4th century CE.[40] The collection, among the world's largest, overviews Egyptian life spanning Ancient Egypt, the Middle Kingdom, the New Kingdom, Coptic art, and the Roman, Ptolemaic, and Byzantine periods.[40] The department's origins lie in the royal collection, but it was augmented by Napoleon's 1798 expeditionary trip with Dominique Vivant, the future director of the Louvre.[39] After Jean-François Champollion translated the Rosetta Stone, Charles X decreed that an Egyptian Antiquities department be created. Champollion advised the purchase of three collections, the Durand, Salt and Drovetti; these additions added 7,000 works. Growth continued via acquisitions by Auguste Mariette, founder of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Mariette, after excavations at Memphis, sent back crates of archaeological finds including The Seated Scribe.[39][41]

Guarded by the Large Sphinx (c. 2000 BCE), the collection is housed in more than 20 rooms. Holdings include art, papyrus scrolls, mummies, tools, clothing, jewelry, games, musical instruments, and weapons.[39][40] Pieces from the ancient period include the Gebel-el Arak knife from 3400 BCE, The Seated Scribe, and the Head of King Djedefre. Middle Kingdom art, "known for its gold work and statues", moved from realism to idealization; this is exemplified by the schist statue of Amenemhatankh and the wooden Offering Bearer. The New Kingdom and Coptic Egyptian sections are deep, but the statue of the goddess Nephthys and the limestone depiction of the goddess Hathor demonstrate New Kingdom sentiment and wealth.[40][41]

Human-headed winged bull (shedu), Assyria, limestone, 8th century BCE.

Near Eastern antiquities

Near Eastern antiquities, the second newest department, dates from 1881 and presents an overview of early Near Eastern civilization and "first settlements", before the arrival of Islam. The department is divided into three geographic areas: the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Iran. The collection's development corresponds to archaeological work such as Paul-Émile Botta's 1843 expedition to Khorsabad and the discovery of Sargon II's palace.[40][42] These finds formed the basis of the Assyrian museum, the precursor to today's department.[40]

The museum contains exhibits from Sumer and the city of Akkad, with monuments such as the Prince of Lagash's Stele of the Vultures from 2,450 BCE and the stele erected by Naram-Suen, King of Akkad, to celebrate a victory over barbarians in the Zagros Mountains. The 2.25-metre (7.38 ft) Code of Hammurabi, discovered in 1901, displays Babylonian Laws prominently, so that no man could plead their ignorance. The Iranian portion contains work from the archaic period, like the Funerary Head and the Persian Archers of Darius I.[40][43]

The Nike of Samothrace (winged Victory), marble, circa 190 BCE

Greek, Etruscan, and Roman

The Greek, Etruscan, and Roman department displays pieces from the Mediterranean Basin dating from the Neolithic to the 6th century CE.[44] The collection spans from the Cycladic period to the decline of the Roman Empire. This department is one of the museum's oldest; it began with appropriated royal art, some of which was acquired under Francis I.[40][45] Initially, the collection focused on marble sculptures, such as the Venus de Milo. Works such as the Apollo Belvedere arrived during the Napoleonic Wars, but these pieces were returned after Napoleon I's fall in 1815. In the 19th century, the Louvre acquired works including vases from the Durand collection, bronzes such as the Borghese Vase from the Bibliothèque nationale.[37][44]

The archaic is demonstrated by jewellery and pieces such as the limestone Lady of Auxerre, from 640 BCE; and the cylindrical Hera of Samos, circa 570–560 BCE.[40][46] After the 4th century BCE, focus on the human form increased, exemplified by the Borghese Gladiator. The Louvre holds masterpieces from the Hellenistic era, including The Winged Victory of Samothrace (190 BCE) and the Venus de Milo, symbolic of classical art.[45] In the galleries paralleling the Seine, much of the museum's Roman sculpture is displayed.[44] The Roman portraiture is representative of that genre; examples include the portraits of Agrippa and Annius Verus; among the bronzes is the Greek Apollo of Piombino.

Casket, ivory and silver, Muslim Spain, 966 CE

Islamic art

The Islamic art collection, the museum's newest, spans "thirteen centuries and three continents".[47] These exhibits, comprising ceramics, glass, metalware, wood, ivory, carpet, textiles, and miniatures, include more than 5,000 works and 1,000 shards.[48] Originally part of the decorative arts department, the holdings became separate in 2003. Among the works are the Pyxide d'al-Mughira, a 10th century CE ivory box from Andalusia; the Baptistery of Saint-Louis, an engraved brass basin from the 13th or 14 century Mamluk period; and the 10th century Shroud of Josse from Iran.[42][47] The collection contains three pages of the Shahnameh, an epic book of poems by Ferdowsi in Persian, and a Syrian metalwork named the Barberini Vase.[48]

Tomb of Philippe Pot, governor of Burgundy under Louis XI, by Antoine Le Moiturier


The sculpture department comprises work created before 1850 that does not belong in the Etruscan, Greek, and Roman department.[49] The Louvre has been a repository of sculpted material since its time as a palace; however, only ancient architecture was displayed until 1824, except for Michelangelo's Dying Slave and Rebellious Slave.[50] Initially the collection included only 100 pieces, the rest of the royal sculpture collection being at Versailles. It remained small until 1847, when Léon Laborde was given control of the department. Laborde developed the medieval section and purchased the first such statues and sculptures in the collection, King Childebert and stanga door, respectively.[50] The collection was part of the Department of Antiquities but was given autonomy in 1871 under Louis Courajod, a director who organized a wider representation of French works.[49][50] In 1986, all works from after 1850 were relocated to the new Musée d'Orsay. The Grand Louvre project separated the department into two exhibition spaces; the French collection is displayed in the Richelieu wing, and foreign works in the Denon wing.[49]

The collection's overview of French sculpture contains Romanesque works such as the 11th century Daniel in the Lions' Den and the 12th century Virgin of Auvergne. In the 16th century, Renaissance influence caused French sculpture to become more restrained, as seen in Jean Goujon's bas-reliefs, and Germain Pilon's Descent from the Cross and Resurrection of Christ. The 17th and 18th centuries are represented by Étienne Maurice Falconet's Woman Bathing and Amour menaçant and François Anguier's obelisks. Neoclassical works includes Antonio Canova's Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss (1787).[50]

French stained glass panel, 13 century, depicting Saint Blaise

Decorative arts

The Objets d'art collection spans from the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century. The department began as a subset of the sculpture department, based on royal property and the transfer of work from the Basilique Saint-Denis, the burial ground of French monarchs that held the Coronation Sword of the Kings of France.[51][52] Among the budding collection's most prized works were pietre dure vases and bronzes. The Durand collection's 1825 acquisition added "ceramics, enamels, and stained glass", and 800 pieces were given by Pierre Révoil. The onset of Romanticism rekindled interest in Renaissance and Medieval artwork, and the Sauvageot donation expanded the department with 1,500 middle-age and faïence works. In 1862, the Campana collection added gold jewelry and maiolicas, mainly from the 15th and 16th centuries.[52][53]

The works are displayed on the Richelieu Wing's first floor and in the Apollo Gallery, named by the painter Charles Le Brun, who was commissioned by Louis XIV (the Sun King) to decorate the space in a solar theme. The medieval collection contains the coronation crown of Louis XIV, Charles V's sceptre, and the 12th century porphyry vase.[54] The Renaissance art holdings include Giambologna's bronze Nessus and Deianira and the tapestry Maximillian's Hunt.[51] From later periods, highlights include Madame de Pompadour's Sèvres vase collection and Napoleon III's apartments.[51]

The Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, oil on panel, 1503-19, probably completed while the artist was at the court of Francis I.


The painting collection has more than 6,000 works from the 13th century to 1848 and is managed by 12 curators who oversee the collection's display. Nearly two-thirds are by French artists, and more than 1,200 are Northern European. The Italian paintings compose most of the remnants of Francis I and Louis XIV's collections, others are unreturned artwork from the Napoleon era, and some were bought.[55][56] The collection began with Francis, who acquired works from Italian masters such as Raphael and Michelangelo,[57] and brought Leonardo da Vinci to his court.[9][58] After the French Revolution, the Royal Collection formed the nucleus of the Louvre. When the d'Orsay train station was converted into the Musée d'Orsay in 1986, the collection was split, and pieces completed after the 1848 Revolution were moved to the new museum. French and Northern European works are in the Richelieu wing and Cour Carrée; Spanish and Italian paintings are on the first floor of the Denon wing.[56]

Exemplifying the French School are the early Avignon Pieta of Enguerrand Quarton; the anonymous painting of King Jean le Bon (c.1360), possibly the oldest independent portrait in Western painting to survive from the postclassical era;[59] Hyacinthe Rigaud's Louis XIV; Jacques-Louis David's The Coronation of Napoleon; and Eugène Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People. Northern European works include Johannes Vermeer's The Lacemaker and The Astronomer; Caspar David Friedrich's Tree of Crows; Rembrandt's The Supper at Emmaus, Bathsheba at Her Bath, and The Slaughtered Ox.

The Italian holdings are notable, particularly the Renaissance collection. The works include Andrea Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini's Calvarys, which reflect realism and detail "meant to depict the significant events of a greater spiritual world".[60] The High Renaissance collection includes Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Virgin and Child with St. Anne, St. John the Baptist, and Madonna of the Rocks. Caravaggio is represented by The Fortune Teller and Death of the Virgin. From 16th century Venice, the Louvre displays Titian's Le Concert Champetre, The Entombment and The Crowning with Thorns.[61][62]

Three lion-like heads, Charles le Brun, France, pen and wash on squared paper, 1671

The La Caze Collection, a bequest to the Musée du Louvre in 1869 by Louis La Caze was the largest contribution of a person in the history of the Louvre. La Caze gave 584 paintings of his personal collection to the museum. The bequest included Antoine Watteau's Commedia dell'Arte player of Pierrot ("Gilles"). In 2007, this bequest was the topic of the exhibition "1869: Watteau, Chardin... entrent au Louvre. La collection La Caze".[63]

Prints and drawings

The prints and drawings department encompasses works on paper.[64] The origins of the collection were the 8,600 works in the Royal Collection (Cabinet du Roi), which were increased via state appropriation, purchases such as the 1,200 works from Fillipo Baldinucci's collection in 1806, and donations.[37][65] The department opened on 5 August 1797, with 415 pieces displayed in the Galerie d'Apollon. The collection is organized into three sections: the core Cabinet du Roi, 14,000 royal copper printing-plates, and the donations of Edmond de Rothschild, which include 40,000 prints, 3,000 drawings, and 5,000 illustrated books. The holdings are displayed in the Pavillon de Flore; due to the fragility of the paper medium, only a portion are displayed at one time.[64]

Satellite museums


In 2004, French officials decided to build a satellite museum on the site of an abandoned coal pit in the former mining town of Lens to relieve the crowded Paris Louvre, increase total museum visits, and improve the industrial north's economy.[66] Six cities were considered for the project: Amiens, Arras, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais, Lens, and Valenciennes. In 2004, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin chose Lens to be the site of the new building, called Le Louvre-Lens. Museum officials predicted that the new building, capable of receiving about 600 works of art, would attract up to 500,000 visitors a year when it opened in 2009.[66]

Abu Dhabi

In March 2007, the Louvre announced that a Louvre museum would be completed by 2012 in Abu Dhabi. A 30-year agreement, signed by French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres and Sheik Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, will establish the museum in downtown Abu Dhabi in exchange for €832,000,000 (US$1.3 billion). The Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel and the engineering firm of Buro Happold, will occupy 24,000 square metres (260,000 sq ft) and will be covered by a roof shaped like a flying saucer. France agreed to rotate between 200 and 300 artworks during a 10-year period; to provide management expertise; and to provide four temporary exhibitions a year for 15 years. The art will come from multiple museums, including the Louvre, the Georges Pompidou Centre, the Musée d'Orsay, Versailles, the Musée Guimet, the Musée Rodin, and the Musée du quai Branly.[67]


The Louvre is involved in controversies that surround cultural property seized during World War II by the Nazis and under Napoleon I. After Nazi occupation, more than 60,000 articles were returned to France. Nearly 2,000 objects that did not have clear ownership and were claimed by Israelis and Jews were retained by French museums, including the Louvre. In 1997, Prime Minister Alain Juppé initiated the Mattéoli Commission, headed by Jean Mattéoli, to investigate the matter and "according to the government[,] the Louvre continues to hold 678 pieces of [claimed] artwork."[68] Napoleon's campaigns acquired Italian and Northern European pieces and antiquities were taken during excavations, particularly in Egypt and the Near East. The Louvre administration has argued in favor of retaining these items despite requests by source nations for their return. The museum participates in arbitration sessions held via UNESCO's Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to Its Countries of Origin.[69]

In 2009, McDonalds opened a restaurant in the museum's shopping mall.[70] This has been met with much controversy.

Location and access

A map of the Louvre in the 1er arrondissement of Paris. Metro lines serving the area are shown, with stations colored red. Note that the RER is not shown. Landmarks are in black.

The museum lies in the centre of Paris on the Right Bank. The neighborhood, known as the 1st arrondissement, is home to the destroyed Palais des Tuileries. The adjacent Tuileries Gardens, created in 1564 by Catherine de Medici, was designed in 1664 by André Le Nôtre. The gardens house the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, a contemporary art museum that was used to store Jewish cultural property from 1940 to 1944.[71] Parallel to the Jeu de Paume is the Orangerie, home to the famous Waterlilly paintings by Monet.

The Louvre is slightly askew of the axe historique (Historic Axis), a roughly eight-kilometre (five-mile) architectural line bisecting the city. It begins on the east in the Louvre courtyard and runs west along the Champs-Élysées. In 1871, the burning of the Tuileries Palace by the Paris Commune revealed that the Louvre was slightly askew of the Axe despite past appearances to the contrary.[72] The Louvre can be reached by the Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre Métro or the Louvre-Rivoli stations.[73]


See also


  1. ^ Sandler, Linda (February 25, 2008). "Louvre's 8.3 Million Visitors Make It No. 1 Museum Worldwide". Retrieved 2008-04-17. 
  2. ^ "Fréquentation record en 2008 pour le musée du Louvre contrairement au Musée d'Orsay". La Tribune. 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2009-02-01. 
  3. ^ Louvre Website- Chateau to Museum, 1672 and 1692
  4. ^ Louvre Website- Chateau to Museum 1692
  5. ^ a b Mignot, p. 32
  6. ^ a b Edwards, pp. 193–94
  7. ^ In Larousse Nouveau Dictionnaire étymologique et historique, Librairie Larousse, Paris, 1971, p. 430: ***loup 1080, Roland (leu, forme conservée dans à la queue leu leu, Saint Leu, etc.); du lat. lupus; loup est refait sur le fém. louve, où le *v* a empêché le passage du *ou* à *eu* (cf. Louvre, du lat. pop. lupara)*** the etymology of the word louvre is from lupara, feminine (pop. Latin) form of lupus.
  8. ^ a b Edwards, p. 198
  9. ^ a b Chaundy, Bob (2006-09-29). "Faces of the Week". BBC. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  10. ^ Mignot, p. 42
  11. ^ Nore, p. 274
  12. ^ a b Carbonell, p. 56
  13. ^ a b c d e Nora, p. 278
  14. ^ Oliver, p. 21–22
  15. ^ Monaghan, Sean M.; Rodgers, Michael (2000). "French Sculpture 1800-1825, Canova". 19th Century Paris Project. School of Art and Design, San Jose State University. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  16. ^ Oliver, p. 35
  17. ^ a b c d Alderson, p.24, 25
  18. ^ a b c Mignot, pp. 68, 69
  19. ^ McClellan, p. 7
  20. ^ Mignot, p. 52
  21. ^ a b Alderson, p.25
  22. ^ Mignot, p. 69. According to Mignot, Mantegna's Calvary, Veronese's The Marriage of Cana, and Rogier van der Wyden's Annunciation were not returned.
  23. ^ a b Mignot, pp. 52–54
  24. ^ a b Mignot, pp. 70–71
  25. ^ Simon, p. 23
  26. ^ Simon, p. 177
  27. ^ "Œuvres". Musée du Louvre. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  28. ^ a b c "New Boss at Louvre's helm". BBC News. 17 June 2002. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  29. ^ a b "Online Extra: Q&A with the Louvre's Henri Loyrette". Business Week Online. 17 June 2002. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  30. ^ Matlack, Carol (28 July 2008). "The Business of Art: Welcome to The Louvre Inc.". Der Spiegel Online.,1518,568466,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  31. ^ Lunn, p. 137
  32. ^ a b c Gumbel, Peter (31 July 2008). "Sacre Bleu! It's the Louvre Inc.". Time Magazine.,9171,1828324-1,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  33. ^ a b c d e f Baum, Geraldine (14 May 2006). "Cracking the Louvre's code — Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  34. ^ "Louvre, Organization Chart". Official Site. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  35. ^ Mignot, p. 13
  36. ^ Mignot, p. 66
  37. ^ a b c Mignot, p. 92
  38. ^ "35,000 works of art". Musée du Louvre. Retrieved 2008-09-27. 
  39. ^ a b c d Mignot, pp 76, 77
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nave, pp.42-43
  41. ^ a b "Egyptian Antiquities". Musée du Louvre. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  42. ^ a b Mignot, pp. 119–21
  43. ^ "Decorative Arts". Musée du Louvre. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  44. ^ a b c "Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities". Musée du Louvre. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  45. ^ a b Mignot, pp. 155–58
  46. ^ Hannan, p.252
  47. ^ a b "Islamic Art". Musée du Louvre. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  48. ^ a b Ahlund, p. 24
  49. ^ a b c "Sculptures". Musée du Louvre. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  50. ^ a b c d Mignot, 397–401
  51. ^ a b c Nave, p 130
  52. ^ a b Mignot, pp. 451–54
  53. ^ "Decorative Arts". Musée du Louvre. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  54. ^ Lasko, p. 242
  55. ^ Hannan, p. 262
  56. ^ a b Mignot, pp. 199–201, 272–73, 333–35
  57. ^ According to Giorgio Vasari, Michelangelo's Leda and the Swan, (now lost) was acquired by Francis I.
  58. ^ "Paintings". Musée du Louvre. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  59. ^ Mignot, p. 201
  60. ^ Hannan, p. 267
  61. ^ Mignot, p. 378
  62. ^ Hannan, pp. 270–278
  63. ^ — Musée du Louvre - Exhibitions - Past Exhibitions - The La Caze Collection. Retrieved 2009-05-23
  64. ^ a b Mignot, 496
  65. ^ "Prints and Drawings". Musée du Louvre. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  66. ^ a b Gentleman, Amelia (1 December 2004). "Lens puts new angle on the Louvre". Guardian. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  67. ^ "The Louvre's Art: Priceless. The Louvre's Name: Expensive.". The New York Times. March 6, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  68. ^ Rickman, p. 294
  69. ^ Merryman, abstract
  70. ^
  71. ^ Mroue, p. 176
  72. ^ Rogers, p. 159
  73. ^ "How to get here". Louvre Museum. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 

Works cited

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Paris/1st arrondissement article)

From Wikitravel

Europe : France : Île-de-France : Paris : 1st arrondissement
The Louvre
The Louvre

The center of contemporary Paris and the site of such landmarks as the Louvre and of the Tuileries and Palais-Royal, the 1st Arrondissement [1] is full of attractions for travelers of all inclinations, including some of the finest parks, museums, shops, and bars in the city. The 1st occupies the Right Bank of the River Seine and extends onto the western section of the Île de la Cité in the midst of the river.

For occupying such a compact space, however the 1st feels remarkably different from one end to the other. The almost incredibly upscale western end of the arrondissement gives way to the hustle and bustle of the big city east of the Palais Royal, and then further east to the pedestrian (and tourist) dominated area around Les Halles and the (currently shuttered) Samaritaine, where tourists mix with (especially young) Parisiens and Parisiennes in huge numbers (on the order of 800,000 unique visitors per day according to the Mayor's office).


Paris was historically centered on the Ile de la cité, but by the time Baron von Hausmann was given the task of carving up the city, the center had shifted somewhat to the previously suburban Royal Quarter surrounding the Louvre and the Palais Royal.

Get in

Travelers arriving at one of the airports will probably get in via the RER-B line at the formidable Métro station Châtelet/Les Halles, read on for details.

By Métro

Châtelet/Les Halles, the hub for the 1 and D lines is the largest and busiest of all Métro stations. There exists a total of seven entrances/exits scattered around the eastern end of the 1st Arrondissement, concentrated (not surprisingly) between Les Halles and Place du Châtelet, and also accessing the basement of the Les Halles shopping mall itself. If you are in a hurry—or have never used this station previously—it might be better to alight one Métro stop earlier or later. Of course, if you are transferring to or traveling on one of the RER lines, brace yourself. Châtelet/Les Halles is a French equivalent for New York City's Grand Central Station.

Line 1 line crosses travels the length of the arrondissement, arriving from Chateau de Vincinnesin the east via Gare de Lyon, and La Défence in the west. Most of the stations are fairly easy to use with the exception of Châtelet/Les-Halles. If you have a choice go for Palais-Royale/Musée-de-Louvre or Tuileries.

Line 14 line is the newest metro line, and probably the best way to arrive from Gare de Lyon, and thus from Switzerland or the South of France since it is a fully automated express train. Think of it as a sort of a horizontal elevator. It stops at Châtelet/Les-Halles and Pyramides.

Line 7 cuts diagonally across from the northwest to the southeast or the other way depending on how you look at it. Entering from the southwest (perhaps Gare d Austerlitz) you'll want to get off at Pont Neuf.

Line 4 runs north and south through the east end of the arrondissement, mostly under Châtelet. Again, we prefer the Cité or Etienne-Marcel stops to the Châtelet madness.

All four RER lines cross the arrondissement and stop at Chatelet/Les-Halles.

Get Around

Having arrived in the 1st arrondissement walking will most likely suffice for transport. That said, Paris cabs are quite cheap. Still, even they don't have access to much of the carfree eastern end of the arrondissement.

If traveling from east to west by Métro you are probably best off using any other stations than Châtelet/Les Halles unless you have to connect there. Although the Métro trains themselves are fast and frequent, the crowded labyrinth at Châtelet can make getting to the trains an adventure.

windown in Sainte Chapelle
windown in Sainte Chapelle
Le Palais Royal
Le Palais Royal
  • Le Louvre (The Louvre), (Métro: Palais Royal/Louvre), +33 1 40 20 53 17, [2]. Open daily except Tuesdays and certain public holidays. Permanent collections 9 am to 6 pm (Wed and Fri til 10 pm). Under the pyramid is open 9 am to 10 pm. The primary landmark of the 1st arrondissement: as well as housing one of the world's great museums since 1793, the former palace offers some dazzling architecture, wide public spaces and the glass pyramid of I M Pei. Of course there's also quite a bit to see inside the building; see our coverage under Museums below.  edit
  • Jardin des Tuileries, (Métro: Tuileries). Originally adjoining the now-disappeared royal palace of the Tuileries, these gardens lying immediately west of the Louvre offer a central open space for Parisians and visitors with semi-formal gardens (an outdoor gallery for modern sculpture), various cafés, ice-cream and crépe stalls and a summer fun fair. The gardens are frequently home to a giant ferris wheel and enclose the Musée de la Orangerie and the Jeu de Paume (see below).  edit
Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme
  • Colonne Vendôme, (Métro: Opéra). The centerpiece of a magnificent 8-sided square first laid out in 1699 to show off an equestrian statue of the Sun King, Louis XIV. The statue was removed amidst Revolutionary fervor in 1792 and replaced in 1806 with the Colonne de la Grande Armée. This was modeled on Trajan's column in Rome and decorated with Napoleon's military exploits. The present column is a replica, however, as the original was pulled down during the 1871 Paris Commune. Place Vendôme represents the best of well-heeled Paris, being home to an abundance of exclusive boutiques, jewelers and fashion labels - Cartier, Boucheron, Trussardi, van Cleef & Arpels - several banks, the French Ministry of Justice and the Ritz Hotel.  edit
  • Le Palais Royal, +33 1 45 20 82 56, [3]. 7:00am to 11:00pm during the summer and 7:00am to 8:30pm in the winter with hours varying in the spring and Autumn months. Ordered by Cardinal de Richelieu (1585-1642), King Louis XIIIth's prime Minister in 1629 (completed in 1636); originally called Palais Cardinal; it became Le Palais Royal when Anne d'Autriche, Louis XIIIth's wife, came to live here to get away from the Louvre palace. It eventually housed Louis the XIVth until the move to Versailles. It includes also a beautiful garden Les jardins du Palais Royal, enclosed within the buildings. It's been the theater of one of the seminal events of the French Revolution (Camille Desmoulins made a famous declaration here in 1789). The Théatre Français nearby was built in 1716. There are numerous restaurants inside the garden , including famous Le Grand Véfour. There's also the controversial Colonnes de Buren, striped columns installed within the inside yard among the XVIIth century architecture.  edit
  • Église Saint-Eustache, (Located near Les Halles and the Bourse de Commerce), [4]. This massive church is one of the best standing examples of the early Gothic style.  edit
Map of the 1st Arrondissement
Map of the 1st Arrondissement
  • Sainte Chapelle, 4 blvd du Palais (Métro: Cité), +33 (0)1 53 73 8 51. Soaring stained glass windows beaming ample light onto the rich primary colors of the tile mosaics on the floor, this photogenic church was built by the French kings to house the relics of the Crown of Thorns - far more beautiful than the famous, but gloomy, Notre Dame which is nearby. Make sure you go on a sunny day, as the highlight of this small chapel in Rayonnante Gothic style are the large stained-glass windows which soar up to near the vaulted ceiling. Also of interest is the extremely ornate lower level. If it happens to be rainy or cloudy, give Sainte Chappelle a miss, as the play of colored lights on the floor are well worth the wait for a sunnier day. The chapelle is located inside the Courts of Justice, there will thus be a security check.  edit
  • La Conciergerie, (Métro: Cité), +33 1 53 73 78 50, [5]. open daily 9.30am - 6.30pm April - September; daily 10 am - 5 pm October - March, entry €6.10, concessions and guided tours available, under-18s free - the ancient medieval fortress and prison of the city's island, site of some remarkable medieval royal architecture and the scene of Marie Antoinette's imprisonment in the period leading to her execution in 1793 - lots of Revolutionary associations.  edit
Remains of the medieval dungeon, Palais du Louvre
Remains of the medieval dungeon, Palais du Louvre
  • Musée du Louvre, Place du Carrousel (Métro: Louvre), +33 1 40 20 53 17, [6]. open daily 10am-6pm, closed Tuesdays and some public holidays, evening openings We and Fr until 9.45pm, 1st Su of the month. Free admission for all, general admission (not including special exhibitions) adults €9, evening openings adults €6, special exhibition €8.50; combined ticket (museum + special exhibition) adults €13, evening openings €11 Carte Musée. Its exhibits come from such diverse origins as ancient Egypt, classical Greece and Rome, medieval Europe and Napoleonic France. Its most famous exhibit, of course, is Leonardo da Vinci's painting of the Mona Lisa (French: La Joconde, Italian: La Gioconda), generally to be found surrounded by hordes of camera-flashing tourists. If you want to see everything in the Louvre, plan at least two full days. However, it is better to pick and choose, as the collection was assembled with an eye to completeness rather than quality.  edit
  • Musée en Herbe, 21 rue Hérold (Métro: Les Halles, Palais Royal, Rambuteau, Sentier), +33 1 40 67 97 66, [7]. Open daily 10 :00 am to 7 :00 pm.. A little brother for the original Musée en Herbe in the Bois de Boulogne, this museum is also geared for children. They have games and hands-on exhibits so won't have to supervise quite as closely as in other museums. Arts workshops are available as well, but you'll need to reserve a space in advance. €4 for the exhibitions, €8 for the workshops.  edit
  • l'Orangerie (Musée de la Orangerie), +33 1 44 77 80 07, [8]. open daily, except Tu, Christmas Day and 1st May; individuals 12.30pm-7pm, until 9pm Th; groups 9.30am-12.30pm; admission €6.50 adults, concessions €4.50, special exhibition + €1.20; audio guides available in several languages €4.50 / €3 - recently reopened after extensive renovations, this small museum near the Louvre houses the Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume Collection, sold to the French Republic on very generous terms and numbering 143 paintings from the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century (15 Cézannes, 24 Renoirs, 10 Matisses, 12 Picassos, 28 Derains, 22 Soutines… ). The collection joined the eight immense Water Lilies that Monet gave France in 1922 and which have been displayed since 1927 in two huge oval rooms purpose-built on the artist's instructions.  edit
  • Jeu de Paume, (northwestern corner of the Jardin des Tuileries). Built during the First Empire, in imitation of the Orangerie this small building is used by the Galerie Nationale to mount shows dedicated to lesser known, but nonetheless interesting artists, or (sometimes) the lesser known works of the Great Masters. This museum once housed many of the Impressionist painters that are now to be found in the Musée d'Orsay on the other side of the River Seine.  edit
  • Musée des Arts décoratifs, 107, rue de Rivoli, +33 1 44 55 57 50, [9]. Around the corner from the Musée du Louvre at Rue de Rivoli 107 - monument to the French art de vivre, housed in a 19th-century wing of the Louvre that has been restored to Beaux-Arts splendor, its galleries and period rooms showcasing eight centuries of Gallic taste in interior decoration.  edit


One of the great joys of a visit to Paris is to simply walk around and explore to get the feel of the city. The 1st is as good a place to start as any, with the largely car-free section around Les Halles, and the right bank of the river Seine as good places to start. As a little bonus if you are in Paris in the summer time, the express lanes at river level are converted to an all pedestrian road called "Paris Plage" which fills with rollerbladers and sun-bathers just about every afternoon.

A number of Paris theaters are located in the eastern end of the 1st. English language productions are not unheard of, but the opera is likely to be in Italian anyhow. Your best bet if you are interested in finding a show in either language is to pick up a copy of Pariscope which you can find at any newsstand for around €0.50. There are ticket outlets at Forum Les Halles (FNAC) among other locations.

St. Eustache from Les Halles
St. Eustache from Les Halles
  • Palais Royal Ramble (Adventures thru the Lens), Place du Palais Royal, +33 1 45 51 53 80, [10]. 4. Photographically speaking, it is hard to beat this tour for the sheer volume of superb images just waiting to be captured by the inventive eye and able hand. Historically speaking, you can't really get any more historic than the Palais Royal and the Musée du Louvre! From Buren's controversial black and white columns to the amazing glass pyramids of the Louvre (including the secretupsidedown one!), passing by the stunning Galérie Vivienne, Maillol's famous statues and lazy Parisiens in the Tuileries gardens, not forgetting the most unbelievable metro entrance you have ever seen (le Kiosque des Noctambules - the Night-walkers' Pavilion) our Palais Royal Ramble really has it all. 125euro.  edit
  • Forum les Halles, (Métro: Les Halles). Open daily from 9am to 7pm. In the late 1960s what was Paris' primary farmers' market moved out to the suburbs to be replaced by a park above ground, and a sprawling underground shopping center below. The interior design is strikingly period (think Logan's Run). The place is showing its age now, but still draws nearly a half-million parisien/ennes per day, mostly teenagers. There's a movie theater and a media library too.  edit
  • Rue Montorgueil, (Métro: Les Halles or Etienne-Marcel). To the north and west of Les Halles almost all of the streets are car-free including this one, on which you can find a wide range of food shops including two great bakers, a fish market, and a bio organic foods store.  edit
  • Le Carrousel du Louvre. A diverse underground shopping precinct adjoining the Louvre Museum. Open daily including Sundays. There is also a direct access into the Louvre.  edit
  • W.H. Smith, 248 rue de Rivoli (Métro: Concorde), +33 1 44 77 88 99, [11]. Monday through Saturday 9:00am to 7:30pm, Sunday 1:00pm to 7:30pm. The largest English language bookshop in Paris carries many of the newest releases.  edit
  • Colette, 213 rue Saint-Honoré (Métro: Tuileries), +33 1 55 35 33 90 (, fax: +33 1 55 35 33 99), [12]. Monday through Saturday 11:00am to 7:00pm. One of the most interesting shopping experiences anywhere, an eclectic collection of design, fashion, gadgets and music  edit
  • Librairie Galignani, 224 rue Rivoli (Métro : Concorde), +33 1 42 60 76, [13]. British & American bookshop, specialized in fine arts.  edit


The 1st provides rather a wide range of eating possibilities, considering its central location and overall poshness. A large variety of inexpensive food is sold out of windows and stalls, especially on the car-free east end of the arrondissement near Les Halles. You'll always pay a bit more to sit down, of course.

On the other hand if you are looking for a nice posh place to take your mom or a date there are plenty, and some of them actually have food that is good enough to be worth the considerable prices.

  • La Crypte Polska, place Maurice Barrés (Métro: Concorde), +33 1 42 60 43 33. Noon-3pm and 7pm to 10pm. Closed Monday. Believe it or not this little Polish restaurant is in the crypt under the church of Our Lady of the Assumption, and the Catholic-mystic decor alone makes a visit worthwhile. Plus the pierogies are about as good as you are going to find in Paris. Expect to pay 12 to 20€ per person for the whole meal.  edit
  • Lemoni Café (1st, 5 Rue Hérold), (Métro: Palais Royal), +33 1 45 08 49 84. closed Sundays.  edit
  • Universal Resto, mezzanine level, Le Carrousel du Louvre, 99 rue de Rivoli - 75001 Paris (Métro: Palais Royal), +33 1 40 20 04 04 (, fax: +33 1 40 20 93 93), [14]. daily 8.00 AM - 11.00 PM. A food court where some 13 stalls offer a variety of French and international cuisine including Lebanese, Mexican, Moroccan, Chinese and Japanese. Affordable prices starting from 10€.  edit
  • Café Marly, 93 rue de Rivoli / cour Napoléon du Louvre (Métro: Palais Royal), +33 1 49 26 06 60. Open daily 8 am - 2 pm. Part of the Grand Louvre redevelopment, Café Marly was opened in 1994 and is situated within the balcony on the northern terrace of the Cour Napoléon. Patrons can enjoy the direct views of the Louvre Pyramid whilst sitting back in comfortable chairs, watching tourists stroll by whilst supping on slightly / not outrageously above-average-price brasserie selections (you're paying a premium for the location!)-- Especially recommended : Sunday morning Brunch! Stunning view in the rising sun.  edit
  • Aux Trois Oliviers, 37 bis rue de Montpensier (Métro: Palais Royal-Louvre), +33 1 40 20 03 02. This colorful and non-pretentious restaurant offers a range of dishes from throughout France and around the world. The mojitos are said to be quite good, as is the wine list. There's live entertainment (chansons français) each Friday night. Expect to spend around 15€ per person at lunch or 20€ at night.  edit
  • Chez Denise, 5 rue Prouvaires (Métro: Les Halles), +33 1 42 36 21 82. Tues-Sun: noon-2:15pm & 7pm-11pm Mon: 7pm-11pm This little owner-operated bistro presents traditional French country food in a nearly rustic setting. As such it's not exactly veggie-friendly, but it is open for dinner until an incredible 5:00am. Starters are from 10-12€ and main courses are 18-25€, then there's the wine.  edit
  • La Robe et le Palais, 13 rue des Lavandieres Sainte Opportune, +33 1 45 08 07 41, [15]. Mon-Sat: noon-14:40 & 19:30-23:00. A small restaurant serving mostly tasty Basque food. Fantastic choice of wines.  edit
  • Point Bar, 40 Place du Marché Saint-Honoré (Métro: Opéra or Pyramides), +33 1 42 61 76 28. Alice Bardet, the daughter of a famous French chef de cuisine, Jean Bardet, has provided a prime example of great French restauranteering for the rest of us as a way of making her own name in the business. She is said to have grown up in her parent's restaurant, and has brought the style, the techniques, and a feeling for quality ingredients along. Lunchtime Menus start at just 15€, but the prices move toward the splurge category at night when you'll spend around 40€ per person ordering à la carte.  edit
  • Maceo, 15, rue des Petits Champs (Métro: Pyramides), +33 1 42 96 98 89, [16]. What was once just a great wine bar with decent food has become a must-visit restaurant with the addition of star chef Thierry Bourbonnais. The second-empire atmosphere sets the stage for the fantastic food, making this a great value for a not terribly pricey splurge. Starters run 13-18€ and main courses are 25-28€. There's even a Vegetarian menu for around 30€.  edit
  • Bar Hemingway, 15 Place Vendôme (Métro: Pyramides), +33 1 43 16 33 65 (fax: +33 1 43 16 33 75). Hemingway tried to drink here once per week even before he made it. Afterwords it was his favorite: when in August of 1944 Hemingway made a booze-powered drive into Paris ahead of the advancing Free French 2nd tank division it was to "liberate the Ritz", and specifically the bar which was shortly thereafter re-named in his honor. Today the bar is considered by many to be one of the best bars in the world, in no small part due to the bar-tending skills of Colin Field, who creates elaborate cocktails as a fine art, and with the rest of the staff is skilled at bringing his guests together in conversation. (48.8690130,2.3276673) edit
  • Le Comptoir Paris-Marrakech, 37, rue Berger (Métro: Les Halles), +33 1 40 26 26 66. A swank drinking and people watching spot on a corner across from the park above Les Halles. There are nice stuffed couches all over the room, and meze snacks are served. The place picks up speed a bit in the evening, attracting quite a mixed crowd. (48.8617962,2.3435712) edit
  • Le Cab, 2, Place du Palais Royal (Métro: Palais Royal/Louvre), +33 1 58 62 56 25 (fax: +33 1 58 62 56 40), [17]. Featuring several spaces for divergent tastes, the Cabaret has an all white Easy-Listener space, a tropical cabana, a gigantic dance floor and more. The sounds vary from hip-hop to house to R'n'B. Expect to pay 8€ for beer and 13€ for a mixed drink, assuming the bouncers let you in.  edit
  • Café Oz, 18, rue Saint Denis, +33 1 40 39 00 18, [18]. You probably didn't think you were coming to Paris to sample Australian culture, but if after a long day of strolling from one end of the city to another you would just like to let go a bit and meet up with some fellow Anglophones then you could do a lot worse than this almost legendarily hard-partying Aussie joint (ask the neighbors). Warning: as with other Aussie places in Paris for some reason, weekend nights here tend to bring out hoards of young single Frenchmen looking to chat up some (any) visiting anglophonette. This has been known to lead to, um, confrontations. ~7€ Pints.  edit
  • Juvénile's, 47 rue Richelieu, +33 1 42 97 46 49. Nice wine + tapas bar cum wine shop : nice food, nice wines from around the world, & you can buy a bottle to take home if you like it!  edit
  • Willi's Wine Bar, 13 rue des Petits Champs, +33 1 42 61 05 09, [19]. It's actually a restaurant and is more upscale than 'Juvéniles', serving good food and good to great bottles of wine with a focus on the Rhône valley, but including many from Burgundy, the Loire, as well as Italians and "Atlantic crossing" Califorians. The dinner menu by chef François Yon Great won the "Bib Gourmet 2009" award, and there are cheeses & deserts (yummy crumble)) for after. Reservation recommended. €20.50-€35.00.  edit
Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme


Some of the most opulent hotels in the world are located either in or very close to the 1st arrondissement, and there's some choice in the mid-range. Budget travelers, on the other hand are probably better off in other, less central parts of town.

  • Centre International BVJ Paris-Louvre, 20 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Métro: Louvre), +33 1 53 00 90 90 (fax: +33 1 53 00 90 91). With beds starting at 26€ this is just about as cheap as it's going to get in the 1st. If you are here to study the art at the Louvre, and want to stay focused it has a location which can't be beat, just across rue Rivoli. (48.8625381,2.3410622) edit
  • Hotel de Rouen, 42, Rue Croix des Petits Champs (Métro: Louvre), +33 1 42 61 38 21 (), [20]. 3 minutes walk from the louvre. Doubles start at 55€, singles at 45€. Breakfast is 6€.. (48.8643861,2.3404551) edit
  • Hôtel Saint-Honoré, 85 Rue Saint-Honoré (Métro: Louvre), +33 1 42 36 20 38, [21]. This is as cheap as it gets for a hotel in this most central of locations, very close to the Louvre. The place was renovated in the last few years, so the comfort level is pretty good considering it hasn't received a star rating yet. (48.8611083,2.3433014) edit
  • Hôtel Montpensier, 12 Rue de Richelieu, +33 1 42 96 28 50 (fax: +33 01 42 86 02 70), [22]. Another semi-cheapie right in the middle of everything. (2.3363679,48.8643457) edit
  • Hôtel Victoria Châtelet, 17 Avenue Victoria (Métro: Chatêlet), +33 1 40 26 90 17 (fax: (+33) 1 40 26 35 61), [23]. A cozy, competitivly priced 24 room hotel with a friendly Art Deco atmosphere. It is located next to the Chatelet Theatre in the very centre of Paris across Notre Dame. It is close to Bus, Taxi, Metro and RER stations: Chatelet les Halles, as well as three nearby monitored parking garages. Basic rooms start at 89€ and double at 90€. (48.8580327,2.3460262) edit
  • Hôtel Louvre Bon Enfants (Hôtel le Loiret), 5, rue des Bons-Enfants (Métro: Palais-Royal), +33 1 42 61 47 31, [24]. Most reviewers give the hotel formerly known as Loiret very high marks for cleanliness and comfort, but the real draw is the location: only steps from the Palais Royal/Louvre stop on Métro Line 1. Apparently the construction site across the street is quite active during the day, so perhaps it's not a good place for the jet-lagged. Single rooms start at 90€, with doubles around 110€. (48.8627944,2.3381080) edit
  • Hôtel Britannique, 20 Avenue Victoria (Métro: Chatêlet), +33 1 42 33 74 59 (fax: +33 1 42 33 82 65), [25]. Anglophiles in Paris could do worse than to stay at this most Anglophile of French hotels. The location is good, at the very east end of the 1st, within an easy walk of Notre Dame, Les Halles, and above the central hub métro station. Basic rooms start at 130€, 157 for a double. (48.8583295,2.3461341) edit
  • Hôtel Vendôme, 1, Place Vendôme (Métro: Pyramides), +33 1 55 04 55 00. Occupying a building which was once the site of the Embassy of the Republic of Texas the Hotel Vendôme is one of the most exclusive addresses anywhere, much like the neighboring Ritz. The 29 rooms each have been decorated in the style of a different period, such as Classic, Baroque, or Deco. Singles start at only 350€, and suites can be as much as 4000€. Hey, compared to the Ritz it's a bargain! (48.8670031,2.3287060) edit
  • Hôtel Costes, 239 Rue Saint-Honoré (Métro: Concorde), +33 1 42 44 50 00 (fax: +33 1 42 55 50 01), [26]. When the Costes brothers who made their fortune in the Paris café trade opened this designer hotel a couple of years ago it became an instant hit with the rich and famous, especially of Hollywood. Whether it's worth the price for the exquisite interior decoration and the chance to rub elbows with a few movie stars is up to you to decide. A basic room starts at 500€ in the off season. Be warned: they don't pay travel agents commissions, so either book it yourself, or pony up the extra 50€ the agent would normally get. (48.8664365,2.3286655) edit
  • Hôtel Ritz, 15 Place Vendôme (Métro: Pyramides), +33 1 43 16 30 70 (, fax: +33 1 43 16 36 68), [27]. If there is any one hotel in the world which is not merely "putting on" the Ritz it would be this one, whose very name has entered the English language as a generic word for luxury (or the appearance thereof). The Ritz may not in fact be the fanciest hotel in Paris anymore, but it's always in the running. Rooms start at 650€ per night, and run right up to 8500€ (350x the price of our budget entry in the neighborhood), but heck, maybe it's your honeymoon. (48.8683694,2.3282338) edit


The 1st arrondissement postal code is 75001.

Internet Cafés

La Baguenaude, 30, rue Grande-Truanderie (Métro: Les Halles), [28]. This all SUSE Linux shop offers 1/2 hour (2.30€), hour (3.80€), and 2 hour (6.10€) time slots. They also offer courses in the use of KDE and the Gimp (in French of course).  edit

Wireless Hotspots

There are a number of cafés in each arrondissement which offer Free wireless for drinking customers (for 20 minutes at a time). Here are a couple in the first:

  • Le Commerce, 12, rue Coquillère (Métro: Etienne Marcel).  edit
  • Chez Flottes, 2, rue Cambon (Métro: Concorde).  edit
  • Tabac du Châtelet, 8, rue Saint Denis (Métro: Châtelet).  edit
  • Café du Pont Neuf, 14, quai du Louvre (Métro: Pont Neuf).  edit

A complete listing is available from the company which provides the service:

  • HotCafe, 56, rue du Temple, +33 1 42 77 35 63, [29]. Phone support available from 9am to 10pm.  edit

Of course many hotels also offer wireless connectivity, but usually for a fee.

Image:star-icon.png This is a star article. It is a high-quality article complete with maps, photos, and great information. If you know of something that has changed, please plunge forward and help it grow!
Star article
Star article


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also louvre


Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun


  1. A famous art museum in Paris, France


Simple English

The Louvre is a museum in Paris, which attracts millions of visitors every year because of its art collection.

The most famous picture in the Louvre is the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, but there are also paintings by Renoir, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Titian.

There are also statues inside the Louvre. The most famous statues are the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.


History of the Louvre

A castle called the Castle of the Louvre used to be where the museum is. It was built by Philip II of France. The castle was used as a fortress to defend Paris against the Vikings. Charles V, King of France turned the castle into a palace. However, Francis I, King of France, knocked it down and built a new palace.

Henry IV, King of France added the Grande Galerie to the Louvre. The Grande Galerie is more than a quarter mile long and one hundred feet wide. The Grande Galerie was built along the River Seine. It was the longest building in the world.

Other websites

Error creating thumbnail: sh: convert: command not found
Wikimedia Commons has images, video, and/or sound related to:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address