Going to Paris? You cannot afford to miss out on The Louvre, home to world famous paintings like Mona Lisa, Madonna of the rocks, Venus de Milo and historical art pieces from renowned artists! Louvre is one of the largest and most visited museums in the world with great historical importance. Located on the bank of river Seine, the 60,600 square meter area houses about 35,000 artworks and 380,000 objects. This museum was formerly a fortress under Philip II, whose remains can still be seen in the basement. The building has been restored and reconstructed a lot of times to give it the present form. It was during the French revolution that Louvre actually got its status as a museum to display France’s masterpieces. It started with display of a mere 537 paintings in 1793, mostly consisting of royal and confiscated artworks. The collection increases gradually under the reigns of Napoleon, Louis XVIII and Charles X. Since 2008, the museum has been divided into 8 departments to exhibit different things according to their type and era of origin. Can you imagine that 15000 visitors come to Louvre per day on an average? If you have read or watched ‘The Da Vinci Code’, you will not be disappointed when you visit Louvre and you’ll find it even more intriguing. Its architectural excellence, illusions and impressive history are the reasons (other than losing yourself in the mystery of Mona Lisa’s smile) to not miss out on this museum. The Louvre has also been involved in a large number of controversies about seizing of cultural property by Napoleon I and by the Nazis during World War II. About 10-35% of pieces in Louvre are actually thought of as being Jewish spoliations. The new modern pyramid (La Pyramide) made up entirely of glass, at the entrance of this ancient museum incurred wrath of many traditionalists but it is yet believed to enhance the already breathtaking beauty of the Louvre. The Historical Axis which bisects the city lies about eight kilometer offset from the Louvre. You can reach Louvre by the easiest route- Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre Metro or the Louvre-Rivoli stations. The three main entrances to Louvre are: the main entrance at the La Pyramide, one from the underground shopping mall called Carrousel du Louvre and the other at the Porte des Lions (lies at the western end of the Denon wing). You can carry colorful memories with you because photography and video recording is allowed inside unless you use flash. The museum remains closed on Tuesday and some National holidays so you better check the timings and the date before you take your excitement to the Louvre entrance!