A trip to the city of love wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of its most iconic tourist spots, the Louvre Museum! With 380,000 artefacts in its collection, the Louvre is easily the largest art museum in the whole world. Among its colossal collection are masterpieces and antiques dating back to the 6th century. Take a trip with me through history and learn 25 facts about the Louvre Museum.
Fact 1: The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum.
- It’s a central landmark in the city of Paris, and the museum is located on the right bank of the Seine in the city’s 1st district.
Fact 2: Approximately 380,000 objects are included in the museum’s collection.
- The museum displays around 35,000 pieces of art too.
Fact 3: It’s the world’s most visited art museum.
- In fact, the museum saw 10.2 million visitors in 2018 alone.
Fact 4: The museum once served as a fortress in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II.
- Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum.
Fact 5: Before becoming a museum, it was home to the French kings.
- Due to urban expansion, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function, and in 1546 Francis I converted it into the main residence of the French Kings.
Fact 6: The museum opened to the public on August 10, 1793, with just 537 paintings on display.
- Majority of the pieces were royal/church confiscated property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801.
Fact 7: The Louvre museum is home to a wide collection of Egyptian antiquities.
- Over 50,000 Egyptian artefacts from the Nile civilizations are housed in the Egyptian antiquities department of the museum.
Fact 8: Napoleon once renamed the Louvre to “Musée Napoleon”.
- The dictator expanded the museum’s collection by 5,000 objects, and during his rule, Napoleon had the “Mona Lisa” hung in his private bedroom. That was the first time the famous painting was ever hung.
Fact 9: The “Mona Lisa” is no larger than an A2 piece of paper.
- Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” is one of the most famous art pieces in the museum. However, it’s not that big. The artwork’s dimensions are actually 21 x 30 inches.
Fact 10: In 1911, the “Mona Lisa” was stolen from the Louvre Museum.
- Fortunately, the artwork was recovered and returned to the museum in 1913. The Mona Lisa has its own bodyguards and is protected by bulletproof glass today.
Fact 11: The Louvre covers around 15 acres of land!
- That’s s 652,300 sq ft full of artefacts. Moreover, 66% of these objects were created by French artists alone.
Fact 12: The Louvre is haunted by a mummy called Belphegor.
- The nearby Tuileries Gardens are also believed to be haunted by a man dressed in red.
Fact 13: King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette met their demise in the building adjacent to the Louvre.
- During the French Revolution, Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were forcibly removed from Versailles and imprisoned in Tuilleries Palace where they were beheaded in 1793.
Fact 14: The museum features a Pyramid as a skylight.
- In 1983, the Louvre underwent a renovation plan known as the Grand Louvre, and in 1993, the skylight finally debuted in the museum’s entrance area.
Fact 15: A 5-km architectural line of monuments known as Axe Historique runs through central Paris to the west.
- The Louvre is the nucleus and is located in the middle of Arc de Triomphe, the Grande Arche of La Defense, and the obelisk of the Place de la Concorde.
Fact 16: It would take you around 400 days to see all 380,000 objects inside the Louvre.
- That’s if you only allocate 30 seconds for each object in a normal 8-hour day shift.
Fact 17: It has a replica in Abu Dhabi called the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
- The museum was inaugurated on 8 November 2017. It is approximately 24,000 sq metres in size, with 8,000 sq metes of galleries, making it the largest art museum in the Arabian peninsula.
Fact 18: The La Caze collection, is the largest collection that has been contributed to the Louvre to date.
- Louis La Caze gave 584 paintings of his personal collection to the museum.
Fact 19: The Louvre has three entrances.
- The main entrance being the pyramid. Another entrance is from the Carrousel du Louvre the underground shopping mall, and another at the Porte des Lions.
Fact 20: There’s a McDonald’s restaurant located underneath the museum’s entrance.
- Under the main entrance to the museum is the Carousel du Louvre, a shopping mall that houses the first Apple Store in France, and a McDonald’s restaurant.
Fact 21: An urban legend states that the main Pyramid in the museum’s courtyard has 666 glass panels, referring to the sign of the devil.
- However, this was proven false since the central Pyramid contains 673 panels of glass.
Fact 22: The Louvre Museum often hosts TV/film productions. It hosted a total of 120 productions in 2015 alone.
- 50% of productions, including short films, TV fictional films, documentaries, commercials, and music videos were hosted in the gardens.
Fact 23: Around 15,000 people visit the museum each day.
- Around 70% of the tourists who visit the Louvre are not from France.
Fact 24: According to Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code”, the remains of Mary Magdalene can be found right under the museum’s Pyramid skylight.
- You can make your own mind up on this one…
Fact 25: The Louvre is split into 8 curatorial departments.
- These include, Greek antiquities, Roman antiquities, Etruscan antiquities, Eastern antiquities, Islamic antiquities, Egyptian antiquities, Paintings/drawings, and sculptures/prints.