Visit the Louvre at Night!

Posted on May 2, 2013. Filed under: France, Paris, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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When we were in Paris there was one night in the week when the Louvre was open until 10:00p.m.  We decided to avoid the daytime crowds and go for the evening.  What a good decision!

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The museum is magical at night.  Dramatic lighting on white marble sculpture against the backdrop of the city was breathtaking.

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After a quick and disappointing look at the Mona Lisa who is sadly trapped behind so much bullet-proof glass and still mobbed by tourists even at night, we explored completely deserted galleries of Dutch and Flemish paintings.  Turning a corner, our breath would be snatched away to stand, unobstructed, in front of some of the most iconic pieces of western art.  It was astonishing to be so alone with these masterpieces.

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Then we wandered into the Babylonian works.  I was blown away by the meticulous craftsmanship of these massive carvings.  And the history!  To see the actual Law Code of Hammurabi, king of Babylon, 18th century B.C. was marvelous.  This basalt stele was one of many erected in various parts of the kingdom to demonstrate the king’s sovereignty, outline examples of the law’s application, provide a history of his rule, and provide direction for the future.  It was revolutionary for its time to actually inform the people of the law!  This whole section of the Louvre could be worthy of a complete trip to the museum.  We were sorry we didn’t have more time.

Next time we won’t even waste a moment seeking out the tourist draws.  This museum has stellar offerings that probably get overlooked by most people.  We will definitely be back at night!

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