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The Louvre: the essential museum visit in Paris

The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world. Each year it attracts millions of eager visitors who come from all over the world to admire this legendary collection of great works, the most famous of which is undoubtedly the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Before it became a beloved public institution, the Louvre was a royal residence and then the headquarters of various academies. Following the French Revolution, it was decided that this historic landmark should become a place in which to display the nation’s masterpieces, and so on August 10th, 1793, the Louvre officially became a museum and today boasts a collection that is colossal in both scope and size.

Close to the Louvre you can find the Hotel Daunou Opera, a contemporary and refined establishment in the 2nd arrondissement that offers a superb opportunity to combine a relaxing stay in a welcoming and serene atmosphere with a cultural expedition to the world’s most renowned museum!

The Louvre, a place of fascination

It is easily understandable why the Louvre attracts so many people each year. The collections are breath-taking, and include numerous works that can rightfully be regarded as utterly priceless and of inestimable cultural value. The building itself is an historic landmark, and even the famous glass pyramid located between its wings is now a popular attraction. Fabulous displays of Oriental, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities are exhibited daily. There are magnificent sculptures and art objects such as jewellery, antique furniture, tapestries and so much more. Temporary exhibitions on very diverse themes are organised over the course of each season.

What to see in the Louvre

Everything in the Louvre is worthy of attention, but some works simply cannot be missed.

The first of these is, of course, the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece. Millions of visitors flock from all across the globe to view the mystery woman and her enigmatic smile. The Venus de Milo, the famous statue of the goddess Aphrodite, is also one of the main showpieces.

Among the Egyptian antiquities are ‘The Seated Scribe’, a series of sarcophagi, and the figurines of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

Antique artefacts related to the Islamic religion are also among the masterpieces in the Louvre. These include the pyxis of al-Mughira, dating from 968, and the famous Baptistery of Saint Louis. The set of Babylonian laws known as the Code of Hammurabi is awe-inspiring in its historical significance. This stele, originating from Mesopotamia in 1750 BC, can be found in the Department of Oriental Antiquities.

Organising your visit to the museum

The Louvre is open to the public every day except Tuesday. It’s possible to organise your visit in advance by choosing a theme trail that lasts about 1½ hours. We recommend the Masterpieces Guided Tour; an ideal way of making sure you miss none of the essentials during your first circuit of the museum. Finally, audio guides are available if you wish to take your time and savour every moment of what will surely be an unforgettable experience.

Hotel Daunou Opera, an elegant 3-star hotel in Paris, opera district

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