19 Interesting Facts about the Louvre Museum
The Musee du Louvre is appreciated as France’s greatest treasure or at least one of them. Many tourists travel far to witness its amazing culture, earth-shattering collection, and stunning architecture. This brilliant museum has stood the test of time and continues to inspire us. Whether you are just thinking about visiting or just plain curious, here are nineteen unreal Louvre Museum facts that will blow you away!
What Is the Louvre?
A famous museum is located stoically in the heart and soul of Paris, France. It houses a vast collection of works and captures a lot of different forms of expression, culture, and artistry throughout history.
All the Louvre Facts You Should Know About
- It is the biggest museum on this crazy huge planet! Yup, you read it correctly. The Louvre Museum is absolutely massive. Today it covers over a whopping 60,000 square meters.
- Mona Lisa lives there. This world-famous piece by Leonardo da Vinci is a favorite of the Louvre artworks throughout the building. This surprisingly tiny canvas is actually covered with a bulletproof protective case. This masterpiece is virtually priceless, so it stays protected! Many tourists gather to “Ooh” and “Awe” at once the most famous paintings in the Louvre daily in Paris.
- What was the Louvre before it was an art museum? It was a fortress! Its original intended purpose was to house royalty in 1190. The monarchy continued to expand the luscious building until the National Assembly stepped in to develop a museum. It began with only 500 or so artworks and exponentially grew to arrive where it is today.
- Queen B loves the Musee du Louvre too. Yes, we said it! Beyoncé is just that cool. She rented out the whole dang place for one of her music videos “APESh*T.” You can now take the Beyoncé and Jay-Z tour at the Louvre Museum in France and stop by every location used in the video. Two worlds colliding. Pretty epic!
- Who created the museum after all? The National Assembly formed the museum in 1793, however, it was soon shut down. The one and only Napoleon Bonaparte reopened it and renamed it The Napoleon Museum. He wanted all the power and praise for his prestigious collections. That change was not received well and soon it returned to its original name.
- Another popular favorite is “Winged Victory.” Tourists love visiting this eerily stunning headless statue with wings. It is known as one of the most coveted Louvre statues in the entire building. It is viewed as grand, elegant and emotional all at once.
- Some of the oldest artifacts in Louvre exhibits go as far back as the sixth century BC. That is old! That is part of the reason this glorious museum also serves as a time capsule. It’s a long-range of exhibits each tells a story about humankind and helps us better understand our past.
- It is a super diverse museum! Louvre art comes in many forms. The distinctive categories, listed on their website, feature eight different departments. This includes antiques from the East, Egypt, Greece, Etruscan and the Romans. It also features Art From Islam and the classical Decorative Arts. The building is known finally for its Sculptures, Paintings, Prints and Drawings. That means a lot of cool art to witness!
- A new pyramid addition was built in 1983. People call it Grand Louvre. The glass pyramid Louvre serves as an underground entrance to the museum in the center of the square courtyard. The glass provides a beautiful contrast to the classical architecture surrounding it. This modern and romantic combination is what keeps the Louvre so timeless. This was the goal of the architect behind the pyramid. It is about 21 meters high and is now one of Paris’s most recognizable landmarks. Next to the Tour de Eiffel of course. It is the prettiest skylight in the world!
- More than half of the Louvre artworks have been completed by French artists. Over 65% to be exact. Pretty cool!
- When Napoleon was defeated he was ordered to send over 5,00 artworks back to their original countries. Following his downfall, the structure was renamed its original title once again. It was quite embarrassing for him! Until he died of course.
- During World War II, the Nazi’s actually took over this museum. It was a very heartbreaking time. They used the once pure and light museum for stolen art. The Nazi’s raided people’s homes and stole their art. It has since recovered after this dark period in time.
- Many travelers consider the Louvre is a must-see. 70% of tourists on average are foreign, which is absolutely remarkable. On a typical day, 15,000 tourists will visit it. This is why it is easily the most visited museum every year.
- The Museum holds close to 400,000 pieces in total. The amount of art on display is astounding and takes a few hours to get through and sit with. Some artworks aren’t even on display!
- The Mona Lisa left the Louvre twice. Once to stay temporarily in Napoleon’s private bedroom and another time on tour in the USA. Now, it looks like she is there to stay for good. The museum will most likely not give her up that quickly ever again!
- There are actually two existing Louvre museums in the world. The second happens to be in the Middle East, Abu Dhabi specifically. It was completed in 2015, so not too far back. The architects took inspiration from the unforgettable original and brought it into their culture!
- The Axe Historique is the famous line of monuments. They create a very satisfying architectural visual. The Louvre is said to act as the nucleus inside the Arc de Triomphe.
- The Louvre is actually even bigger than you’d think at first glance. It expands way past the confines of the palace into other museum territories.
- If you want to see every single piece in the Louvre history, you are going to need more than one quick visit. Experts say the Louvre artworks would take 100 days to see in full. You will likely have to pick and choose when you arrive. Gravitate to what inspires you and don’t fret if you miss an exhibit or painting.
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