An Eastward Homage, Day 9: Le Musee du Louvre, Part I- The Exterior and Neighbourhood

June 4, 2014– During my time in Europe, there were only two rainy days.  This was one of them, but I was going to the Louvre!  My Wednesday would be spent with six hours in this grand museum, two or three hours in the southeast quadrant of the Left Bank (Paris City Hall, Notre Dame de Paris, La Sorbonne),and topped off by a jaunt over to Trocadero and visit to the apartment where ‘Abdu’l-Baha lived on the first of His three visits to Paris (1911).

I caught a bus over to Rue Rivoli and dawdled just a bit, around Tour St. Jacques and L’Eglise de St. Merri, two architectural gems just west of the Louvre, in Place St. Jacques.

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I met the tour guide and our group, at the tour office,with five minutes to spare, and we all walked over to France’s signature museum, with no rain falling while we were en route.  There would be no lines, as we were in a pre-paid tour, but we were to mind our photography etiquette and keep an eye out for pickpockets.

The visitor is greeted in the Courtyard by scam artists bearing clipboards and “petitions”, Roma bearing gold rings and I.M. Pei’s Pyramide.  I like the structure, and it does fit, as the first exhibit one sees in the museum itself is the Egyptian Room.  Let’s start this segment with a look at the west courtyard.

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We entered the museum and got a look at the original walls of the Louvre, when it was a fortress, during the reign of Louis XIII.

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Below, we see a water catchment.

 

 

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Here is a look at the wall’s thickness.

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With this, we began our visit to Section Sully, the Egyptian Antiquities Collection, and two hours of some of the world’s greatest art, which you will see in the next two posts. 🙂

Once the guided tour was over, I spent two more hours in the Greek Antiquities Room and the French Renaissance Gallery.  After lunch at Chez Paul (the cafeteria), I headed outside to the Inner Courtyard

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It was dry!  I happily exited upstairs, and headed across the street to L’Eglise St. Germain d’Auxerres, the first stop on my anticipated walk to Sorbonne, via L’Ile du  Cite and Notre Dame de Paris.

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I went in this marvelous church, on the Musee’s east flank, and spent about forty minutes inside. I was greeted by Madonna, Child, and Three Magi.

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Angels graced the archway.

 

 

 

 

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The scene of Christ being taken down from the cross was a key feature of the confessional chapel.

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As with any church, though, the most majestic sight was the altar.

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When I left the church, it was pouring, and the street and sidewalks were rapidly being inundated.  Thus, my outing to the Left Bank is left for a future date.

So it is the Musee du Louvre is framed, west, east above and below.  In the next post, I will highlight Egyptian and Greek art of the antiquarian kind, followed by a post devoted to the Italian and French Renaissance collections, with a nod to Louis XIV and his displays of wealth.

 

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