You can spend days walking through the Louvre Museum's 403 rooms, exhibiting spectacular treasures spanning the world and 5 000 years. Mona Lisa is the museum's most famous painting. Select a few departments and enjoy the Louvre.
The Louvre Museum on the right bank of the river in Paris is both a beautiful French royal palace and the world's most visited museum with 8.7 million visitors in 2015. The Louvre Museum is also the world's largest museum. Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet).
French artists are extremely well represented up to and excluding the impressionists exposed at Musee d'Orsay. Flemish paintings by Rubens, Brueghel and Van Dick were mostly bought by the Kings and Queens. Rembrandt, Vermeer and De Hooch are famous XVIIth century Dutch painters well represented in the Louvre Museum.
The Louvre Museum also displays world class collections of in particular Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Islamic Arts.
The Louvre is extremely large. A Louvre guided tour is therefore practical to get quickly to the museum top masterpieces. If you want to visit the Museum on your own, use the Louvre interactive map to prepare your visit.
From the main entrance through the pyramid, access the Carrousel du Louvre Paris Shopping Mall, a complement to your visit. The Tuileries Gardens close by are one of Paris best parks. A reason to book a hotel near Louvre Museum.
The Louvre is open 9am to 6pm all days except Tuesdays, January 1st, May 1st, November 11th, December 25th. It is open until 9.45pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. Rooms begin closing 30 minutes before museum closing time.
Full-day Louvre Museum entrance fee: 15 euros. From October to March: access is free for all visitors on the first Sunday of each month. Buy Museum tickets (16.6 euros).
The famous glass pyramid (Paris map) designed by architect I.M. Pei is the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. To avoid the queue, enter through Carrousel du Louvre entrance (Paris map), 99 rue de Rivoli or Porte des Lions, 14 Quai Francois Mitterrand (Paris map).
In the late 12th century, King Philippe Auguste decided to build the Louvre fortress at a weak point along the river banks of the city walls protecting Paris. A dense urban district gradually grew up around it, taking away its defensive interest. King Charles V endorsed the development of the Louvre from fortress to residence. He commissioned his architect Raymond du Temple with converting the fortress into an up-to-date dwelling (1360-1380). The medieval Louvre was largely lost during the modernization of the chateau during the Renaissance, and it was gradually razed to the ground between 1528 and 1660. After Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682, constructions slowed.
The palace houses the Louvre Museum since 1793. President Francois Mitterrand decided in 1981 the final and spectacular extension of the museum, including the construction of the glass pyramid marking the entrance.
See the Louvre in 1500 (Saint Germain des Pres Abbey and Seine River in foreground, Montmartre hill in background).
Seing the richness of its collections which it is unable to display fully, the Louvre institution in Paris recently decided to open museums in other cities and countries.
In late 2016, the museum will open a spectacular extension on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, a significant step towards its internationalization as a global institution.
The Ecole du Louvre is a higher education establishment providing courses in French in archaeology, epigraphy, art history, the history of civilisations and museology. The school is located in Pavillon de Flore within the Louvre.
Founded in 1882, it offers 3 cycles of studies (3 years of undergraduate studies, 2 years of graduate studies and 3 years of post-graduate studies) and a preparatory class for the conservateur du patrimoine competitive exam.
In parallel to these programmes, the school allows auditors to attend certain courses. It offers other courses open to a broad public: evening courses, summer courses, courses taught in the regions, the city of Paris courses; All courses are in french. All courses are available as ongoing training.
Ecole du Louvre web site