The Louvre

IMG_1909IMG_0058Eidos Interactive released a Tomb Raider game called Angel of Darkness in 2003. I played it on my PS2, and my favorite thing about it was the use of the Louvre as a location for three levels. (Controls were a little klunky, which were totally improved in Tomb Raider Legend.)

When I decided to go to France, the Louvre was the first item on my list. But not just because of the video game.

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IMG_0071I wanted to see the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, and I knew there were many other paintings, sculptures, and Egyptian treasures–enough to keep most people coming back for at least two days.

I was on a schedule, so I did it all in one day. My pedometer clocked 18,418 steps (that’s 8.13 miles), and my recovering sprained ankle felt every last one of them. Didn’t matter. The place was awesome!

IMG_0125In the 12th century, Philip II built a fortress where the Louvre sits. They have been excavating what’s left, which isn’t much.

Once the royal palace of France, the Louvre became more of a treasure storage when Louis XIV moved the family residence to Versailles in the late 17th century. It’s been a museum since 1793.IMG_0168

There are remnants of Louis XIV (known as the Sun King) like this balcony railing decorated liberally with gold. (I thought this was pretty excessive until I went to Versailles.)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Next week, I’ll share a bit more from my quick visit. There are many things that I didn’t see, though, and I can’t wait to go back on my next trip to Paris.

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