July 03, 2005

My Paris Trip: Episode II: Le Musée du Louvre

On Friday morning (July 1), Joy and I got ourselves together and headed out to do some hardcore sightseeing. Our first stop was Napoleon's tomb at the Dôme Church in Invalides. The area is named for the Hôtel des Invalides, which was orginally built in the 1670's by Louis XIV for wounded and homeless veterans and has been used for that purpose since the end of WWII. Napoleon's coffin is huge because it's really six coffins, but you can't really blame him because he was placed there 19 years after his death. The church itself is very beautiful, with a very impressive dome ceilingand alter.

Once we had said "what up" to Napoleon, we headed the the Musée Rodin, which is just across the street from the Dôme Church. We had purchased a three-day museum pass at the Dôme Church to avoid staning in ticket lines and hopefully save a little money, so we were able to get in very quickly and easily. The grounds are very beautiful and contain many of his famous works in bronze, including The Thinker (Le Penseur) and The Gates of Hell (La Port d'Enfer). We took a lot of fun pictures and some nice ones outside, but my favorite piece is The Kiss, which is marble so it's kept inside.

Interacting with Rodin's outdoor sculpture

After that it was already 12:30pm and, after a brief stop for a baguette sandwich, we headed to the Louvre to attempt to see as much of it as possible before it closed at 9:45pm (it closes late on Fridays; usually it's 6pm). The Louvre was first constructed in 1190 as a fortress, but was converted into a beautiful Renaissance chateau in the 1540's for Charles V. In the early 1600's, Henry IV added the long wings that extend from the main court yard along the Seine to the Tuileries Gardens. Napoleon added the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, but Napoleon III really made the Louvre what it is today, demolishing ancient pieces to unify the existing buildings and finishing the impressive facades. The palace was converted into a museum in the mid-late 1700's, the royal family having lived mostly at Versailles since the late 1600's. I'm not going to go into all the art we saw there because a day at the Louvre really tests one's endurance for art and sculpture, so blogging about it may drive me insane. The collection is HUGE, diverse, gorgeous and a must-see during your lifetime, but seeing it is a challenge in one day and no matter which shoes you wear your feet WILL hurt at the end of the day. I was very impressed by how beautiful the building itself is (it was the royal palace after all) and I have to admit that the Venus de Milo is my very favorite piece. Check out all our pictures of the Louvre (pictures 65-139) and experience the Louvre without aching feet (captions to come soon).

I think I have one-up on the Venus de Milo because I still have both my arms

We've done more since then, but I'm tired of uploading pics and blogging for the moment, so you're just going to have to wait another day. So far we've also seen the Musée d'Orsay (home of Paris' greatest collection of Van Goughs and Monets), Notre Dame and the Sacre Coeur. We've dined and partied with our landlord's son/neighbor and his friend (so I'm kind of hung over) and today we're going to the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. A demain!

0) $paginate_current_page = 0; $paginate_sections = array( 0 ); $paginate_top_section = $paginate_sections[$paginate_current_page-1]+1; $paginate_bottom_section = $paginate_sections[$paginate_current_page]; } else { $paginate_top_section = 1; $paginate_bottom_section = 0; } $paginate_self = '&' . $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'] . '&'; $paginate_self = preg_replace("/&page=[^&]*&/", "&", $paginate_self); $paginate_self = substr($paginate_self, 1, strlen($paginate_self) - 1); if($paginate_self == '&') $paginate_self = ''; else $paginate_self = htmlentities($paginate_self); $paginate_self = basename($_SERVER['PHP_SELF']) . "?${paginate_self}page"; ?> Posted by Kristina at July 3, 2005 01:18 AM

You were like "bring it!" to that Rodin sculpture and it was like "I don't have jack. I'm just a punk."

Posted by: dr v at July 3, 2005 08:31 PM

The Musee Rodin is my all-time favorite museum. It is so beautiful and intimate! You don't feel like you're in a museum...it's like being in a fabulous mansion with a great art collection. Anyway, I hope you're having fun! A bientot mon amie!

Posted by: Erica at July 4, 2005 11:01 AM

Man, I am so freakin' proud what a huge phooner you've become! Spread the word--phoons unite!

Posted by: Renee at July 8, 2005 11:10 AM