Louvre Museum is on the short list of must-see places.
According to Wikipedia, it is the world's largest museum and the second most visited art museum, behind only Beijing, China's Palace Museum.
The massive museum is more than 780,000 square feet in size with 38,000 objects "from prehistory to the 21st century" (Wikipedia).
The Louvre's origin dates to the 12th century when it was built by King Phillip II as a fortress.
In 1682, King Louis XIV moved his royal residence to Versailles (which we also visited- post to come!). The Louvre Museum would open in 1793.
We did have to navigate through the enormous Carrousel du Louvre underground shopping center, which to me was a pain, but Alesia was happy since she finally found a Pandora store in Paris so she could buy Eiffel Tower charms for herself and Tamy, Joseph's girlfriend.
That's her in the back of this photograph.
Joseph is seen on the left, getting a shot with Tamy's selfie stick (which BTW many fellow visitors to Paris have).
The name Mona Lisa is considered a rough translation from Italian to English meaning "My Lady Lisa."
The Mona Lisa has been at The Louvre since 1797.
For more on the painting that is still so shrouded in mystery, in many ways, see this link, "Fourteen Things You Don't Know About the Mona Lisa."
I should have paid more attention in "Art Appreciation" class freshman year!
Incredibly, it dates to 100 (or more) BC. It was found in 1820 on the Aegean Sea island of Milo. The French government was able to purchase the classic work by Alexandros of Antioch (according to Wikipedia- other sources say the sculptor is not known) and it was displayed at The Louvre after being shipped in pieces and reassembled.
I cannot get my mind around how old this sculpture is: 2600 BC. Found in 1825 among temple ruins in Tanis, Egypt, the French again were able to secure this priceless work of art.
It is considered one of the largest existing sphinxes outside of Egypt.
Napoleon would go down in history as one of the great military leaders ever. He would become France's first emperor.
I'll post soon about my visit to his tomb at Invalides in Paris.
The palatial Louvre has 7-8 million visitors a year.
The huge former fortress is set up nicely to handle such large crowds, seems to me.
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.
This is a smaller version of the nearby Arc du Triomphe. We also visited this Paris site and I will post about it soon.
Luxor Obelisk, which is more than 3,000 years old.
It came to Paris in 1833 as a gift from Egypt's ruler to France's king.
So much history in this city!
We purchased tickets through our hotel at 18 euros each, which is about $20. At the Louvre, tickets are 15 euros.
There are occasional free days and several discount or free categories, including those "seeking jobs and on income support."
The Louvre experience was a very positive one. Culturally and artistically, there may be no better place in the world! I'm sure the French would not argue that.