Paris France Part Three – Louvre – Arc de Triomphe – Palais Garnier – Mona Lisa

Paris France Part Three – Louvre – Arc de Triomphe – Palais Garnier – Mona Lisa

It was to be our last full day in Paris, so of course it would just involve climbing to the top of Arc de Triomphe, walking down the Champs-Élysées, visiting the Paris Opera House ( the Palais Garnier ) and spending 3 quick hours to see everything in the Louvre. I think we did!

I’m pretty sure the Louvre Museum is famous for housing many world famous works or art, but I thought this stone tablet with Egyptian hieroglyphics was quite visually interesting and put in the top spot of this post. Don’t worry, I have a photo of the Louvre’s most famous painting included in this post.

Stone tablet with Egyptian hieroglyphics in the Louvre Museum - Paris France

The first stop of the day would be to the iconic Arc de Triomphe which honours those who fought and died for France in the French revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. To enter the monument you use the under ground tunnels to take you safely to the entrance without having to dodge and elude the traffic that passes around.

One of the most recognizable monuments in the world, the Arc de Triomphe - Paris France

This visitor looking up and taking a photo of the monument gives one a sense of size of  the monument.

Visitor standing beside the Arc de Triomphe is dwarfed in size - Paris France

Yes this is a photo of the well worn steps ( 284 up 50 meters ) to the top of  the Arc de Triomphe and my shoes.

The well worn stairs that take visitors to the top of the Arc de Triomphe - Paris France

Names of those who fought in the French revolutionary war and the Napoleonic Wars.

The Arc de Triomphe serves a memorial to French military victories - Paris France
After you leave the monument many including myself and my wife stroll down the world famous Champs-Élysées.

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées - Paris France

I don’t visit a lot of Opera Houses, but I don’t imagine many are this amazing or are famous for the being the setting of the novel The Phantom of the Opera.

Staircase and candles at the Paris Opera House - Paris France

Mirrors, iconic building, historical setting and a picture of my reflection.

Photographer's reflection in the mirror of the Palais Garnier - Paris France

Entrance to the 1979 seat Opera house.

Entrance to the seating of the Palais Garnier ( Paris Opera House ) - Paris France

The glass pyramid is the entrance to the Louvre.

One enters the Louvre through the glass pyramid in the courtyard - Paris France
I am making an assumption that the Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the most famous museum in the world. Strange there were no crowds to see the painting when we visited.  My wife and I just followed the signs after entering the Louvre at 6pm and saw the painting most people have heard about their entire lives in peaceful serenity.

I would imagine the Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the Louvre - Paris France

This is what it’s really like when you visit the most famous painting in the world. It’s crowded. This was at 6:30 in the evening when the crowds have thinned out. Sadly most people there wanted to a selfie of themselves and the painting. I also don’t know why they bothered putting the other paintings in the room as nobody bothered to look at them in this rather crowed room.

The crowds that are always present around the Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre - Paris France

Maybe they didn’t have small brushes back in the day. This painting by Jacques-Louis David depicting the Coronation of Napoleon measures 20′ 4″ x 32′. The painting took the artist almost two years to complete and was finished in November of 1807.

One very big painting capturing the Coronation of Napoleon measures which measures 20' 4" x 32'. in the Louvre - Paris France

While everybody who goes to the Louvre it appears visits the Mona Lisa, there were at most 20 people around the Venus de Milo during our visit.

The Venus de Milo may be the 2nd most famous item in the Louvre, but it's never quite as crowed as the Mona Lisa - Paris France

If one is going to see and photograph the entire Louvre Museum in just 3 hours, sometimes getting a photo of the art work’s description goes by the wayside.  That was certainly the case for this bust located in the streaking late afternoon sunlight.

As with all today’s modern detective work, the first stop would be Google. Then a search of image on Google led me to Pinterest which labeled the bust as l’empereur Constantin. It’s not a bust of the Emperor Constantine.  More searching led me to this page with a history of the Emperor Constantine and his sons. It turns out this is Constant I ( L’empereur Constant ), son of Emperor Constantine I. He ruled for 13 years from 337 AD to 350 AD.

Bust of L'empereur Constant in the Louvre museum - Paris France

Egyptian stone carving.

Egyptian stone carving in the Louvre Museum - Paris France

This self portrait painting by Joseph Ducreux looks like it should be called “Right back at you”. Instead the artist called this 1791 painting “Self-portrait in the Guise of a Mockingbird”. Or if you prefer the French version “Portrait de l’artiste sous les traits d’un moqueur”.

Painting by Joseph Ducreux - Portrait de l'artiste sous les traits d'un moqueur - Louvre Museum

View of the glass pyramid of the Louvre museum which serves as the main entrance and exit point. Because of the time of day, you can see inside the glass pyramid and that once you enter you go down the stairs and then under the courtyard to the surrounding buildings that house the works of art.

From the 2nd story of one of buildings that make up the Louvre museum you can see the glass pyramid that is the entrance to the complex.

The jet lands at Chicago O’hare airport then it’s just 15 minutes or so to the terminal.

A United 747 on the tarmac at Chicago's O'hare airport

View from 30,000 feet of the fly over states.

Flying over the fly over states with white puffy clouds as far as the eye can see

While I could have been driving while taking this photo, I wasn’t. One last photo on our way home.

The new span of the Oakland San Francisco Bay Bridge that was built after the 1989 earthquake that damaged the Eastern span.

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