What’s So Special about the Louvre?

By: Joanna Wallace

I’ll tell you in all honesty something embarrassing (especially as an art major): Until two-ish years ago I didn’t really know what the Louvre is. I know some people would shake their heads in pity, but for those of you that are in the same boat-and maybe still don’t know just what the Louvre is-this article is for you!

The Louvre (pronounced in English as LOOV) is an art museum! It’s not just any art museum, though, it is the largest art museum in the world, and it is located in Paris. Because of its history and size, it is home to many of the world’s most famous historical and important pieces of artwork, such as the Winged Nike of Samothrace, the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and MUCH MUCH more. It covers around 782,910 square feet, and can be pretty overwhelming.

The museum consists of the Louvre palace and underground space below the palace. You might recognize the famous pyramids in the palace courtyard, though these are recent additions made simply to be a bigger entrance to the museum to accommodate crowds, and were despised by locals when first built (they still make a great photo-op, especially during Golden Hour).

The Louvre is also the most visited art museum in the world, and of the roughly 7 million visitors every year, about 80% of them come to see the Mona Lisa, that’s a little sad seeing as it’s 2’6″ X 1’9″ as compared to David’s 20’4″ X 32′ Coronation of Napoleon, not to mention all of the other amazing things to see, but that’s my personal opinion.

This past summer, I visited Paris and was determined to visit the Louvre and see as much as possible. After taking a year of art history classes and being the nerd I am, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have an embarrassing number of pictures of me in front of random pieces of art. (If you ever run into Mariana, she may or may not have a video of me crying while walking towards the Winged Nike). If you’re ever going to the Louvre, PLEASE take me with you as I’m sure I can find new things to see the next twenty times I visit.

P.S. Louvre pro-tip: Go in with a plan, if you look closely in the photo of me with the Winged Nike, you’ll see my trusty Rick Steves book in hand, what a lifesaver. Also, on Fridays from 6-9 anyone under 26 gets into the museum for free, highly recommend that.

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