EUROPE 2005         









Page 5

Musee Louvre

 The Louvre is the most incredible museum in the world, even if you donít like museums.  The Louvre was originally a fortress and palace, but has been a museum for two centuries.  The building is grand.  The ceilings are especially ornate, from the days when it was a Royal Palace.  It gives some insight into why the peasants must have revolted at the excesses of French Royal life.  Everyone youíve ever heard of has works in the Louvre.  There are paintings, drawings, sculptures, tapestries, jewels, furniture Ö  just everything.   The Mona Lisa is the most well-known art on display there.  The Louvre was also where we discovered that there truly are stairs that only go up or down (can you figure that one out?) 

Louvre floor plan
Louvre Museum Louvre Pyramid
The Louvre Museum, viewed from the Tuileries Gardens The pyramid entrance to the Louvre
Venus di Milo Louvre ceiling Winged Victory
Venus di Milo Typical Louvre room and ceiling The Winged Victory of Samothrace is a marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory),
Chris Mona Lisa Louvre courtyard
Chris The Mona Lisa In the courtyard at the Louvre


Opera Garnier 

Mom wanted to see the Opera building.  In my prior trips to Paris, I had never been there.  I decided to humor her.  It was a good thing.  The Opera, especially the Grand Foyer, is lavishly opulent.   The wealth and grandeur are stunning, and so are the elaborate mosaics that cover the walls and ceilings.  


The Opera Garnier The Grand Staircase Inside the Opera
The Opera (technically, it's Opera Garnier, named after the architect) The Grand Staircase Inside the Opera
Ceiling Mom Grand Foyer
The ceiling Mom checking out the ceiling The Grand Foyer (which is a separate ballroom or entertainment area)

The performance hall inside the Opera.  The building is large (118,ooo square feet) but the hall only seats 2200.  The famous center ceiling area holding the six ton chandelier was painted by Chagall in 1964, but I think it's out of place.  I wish we  could have seen the original.

Performance Hall Performance Hall Chandelier



 The French invented department stores.   Paris is home to three fabulous department stores - Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, and Bon Marche; each of them small cities.  We were interested to see that the department stores also have separate, enclosed areas within the stores for the major designer brands. 

Of course, we ate pastries there, too!


Street Intersection
Typical Paris intersection (with several major streets).  Buildings on the corners are wedge-shaped to optimize real estate.
Galeries Lafayette Bon Marche
Galeries Lafayette department store Bon Marche department store





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