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Video:Tips for Visiting the Louvre

with Nathan Buck

The Louvre is an iconic museum in Paris, France, and a must-see for travelers. Watch this video from About.com to learn more on visiting the Louvre, including what to see there, how to get there and when to go.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Visiting the Louvre

Hi! My name is Nathan Buck for About.com and today I am going to give you a few tips for visiting the Louvre.

History and Background of the Louvre

Occupying 650,000 square feet in the heart of Paris, the museum has art works spanning 6000 years over 8 major departments: Egyptian Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, Greek-Roman-Etruscan Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculptures, Painting, Decorative Arts and Prints and Drawings. Many of the most famous paintings in the world are here: including the most famous work of art ever made. And yet this building didn't even start out as a museum.

Built by Phillip the 2nd as a palace in the 12th century the Louvre was the seat of French monarchy until Louis the 14th abandoned it for his new mega-palace Versailles, outside of Paris in the 17th century. But he left behind his art collection which formed the nucleus of the museum which was inaugurated just after the French Revolution, in 1793. Since then the collection has expanded exponentially gradually taking over the entire palace complex over the next 200 years and transforming into the giant museum it is today.

What to See When Visiting the Louvre

So how do you go about visiting this museum? Where do you start? Well one good strategy is to browse the museum's website and decide beforehand what you want to see. You just can't hope to see everything in the museum on one visit so it's important to pick your area of interest. Most visitors want to see the paintings which span the period of the 13th century to 1848. The museum's encyclopaedic The Astrologer, The Flemish -- Rubens and his famous Medici Cycle, The Italians -- Veronese's Wedding at Cana, Raphael's La Belle Jardiniere, The Spanish -- Murillo's Young Beggar and of course, the French -- Gericault's Raft of the Medusa, Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People and Ingres's The Bather.

Then, when visiting the museum, From the central pyramid you can access the museum's three major wings: the Richelieu on North Side, the Sully on the East Side, and the Denon on the South Side. The paintings are arranged according to their geographical origins. So, for example. you will find all of the French painters on the 2nd floor in the Richelieu and Sully wings, and all of the Italian Old Masters on the first floor in the Denon wing.

When to Visit the Louvre

The Louvre is visited by some 8 million people a year - which averages 22,000 people a day. So its a good idea to try and plan your visit as strategically as possible to avoid the crowds. Either early in the morning, during the week, or in the evening after 5 is a good bet. The museum is open from 9AM to 6PM on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. On Wednesday and Friday the Louvre stays open from 9AM until 9:45PM. It is closed on Tuesdays, Christmas, New Years Day and May 1st. Admission is 10 Euros for all visitors, unless you qualify for free admission: for example if you are under 18, 18-25 year old resident of the EU or an art student, disabled or unemployed -- check the Louvre website for full details. Additionally admission is free for all under 26 years old on Fridays between 6PM and 9:45PM and free for everyone on the 1st Sunday of every month.

So that's a little information about visiting the Louvre. For more information on the Louvre and visiting Paris, please visit About.com.

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