… but I have visited a few incredible museums!
Here’s a short list:
In the Netherlands:
- Museum of Egyptian Antiquities (Cairo)
- Valley of the Kings (Luxor)
And, of course, in California:
But perhaps the largest and most famous museum I have visited is the Louvre.
My first visit was in April of 2002. It was almost overwhelming. (I initially attempted to follow Rick Steves’ self-guided tour, but quickly realized that renting the audio tour was money well-spent.)
More recently, I visited the Louvre in April of 2009, accompanied by my sweetheart, his daughter Carrieanna, and his college friend, George.
Because Carrieanna was in a wheelchair, and I was her assistant, we were able to avoid the ticket line and enter immediately. (The guys were not so fortunate; they stood in line for 20 minutes. However, they were enjoying each other’s company and didn’t mind that Carrieanna and I were ready to start exploring. We would reconnect with them later.)
Quoting Wikipedia (to give you a little idea of the size of museum):
The Louvre—is one of the world’s largest museums, and a historic monument. … Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet). With more than 8 million visitors each year, the Louvre is the world’s most visited museum.
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which began as a fortress built in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection,
As of 2008, the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.
For the most part, the Louvre is very accessible. As noted on the website:
In keeping with France‘s 2005 disability law, the Louvre aims to ensure all visitors can access the museum safely and comfortably. Special attention is given to ensuring quality help and care are available throughout the museum.
Some areas were very crowded.
Carrieanna had to be very aggressive in order to get close enough to see the Mona Lisa.
(I later learned that had she asked for assistance, we would have been escorted around the crowd and allowed easy access.)
Other areas were very easy to navigate
Although there are often stairs between wings, there are also lifts and attendants – often quite handsome! – to allow access to wheelchair users.
Obviously, there are too many treasures to share in this blog. It would probably take a week – or more – to view every painting, sculpture and artifact housed in the Louvre.
If you love art, I’m sure the Louvre is on your bucket list. If not, here are just a few photos to inspire you ….