Category Archives: Paris, Île-de-France

The Louvre Museum, Episode 21

The Louvre Museum in Paris

Louvre Museum courtyard and pyramid
Photo Benh Lieu Song

Let us take you to the Louvre Museum to explore the best way to visit such a huge museum.  Largest number of visitors in the world? Check! Second biggest the world? Check! Stunningly gorgeous? Definitely!

It is true that you could spend a few months in the Louvre Museum looking at everything and still not see it all. But don’t let that intimidate you. We’ve got some tricks up our sleeves in this episode that will save you time and allow you to go to the art you have been longing to see.

If you enjoyed this episode, you should also listen to Episode 63 about doing a Treasure Hunt in the Louvre.

If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.

Episode Highlights

  • Introduction: How did it get so big and famous?
  • Biggest in the world? Yes and no
  • The Louvre Museum as a building
  • Maps, Bathrooms, and Wheelchair Access
  • What If You Don’t Have Enough Time in Paris?
  • A Brief History of the Building
    • 1400s through the 1600s
    • Late 1600s
    • How the Louvre Became a Museum
    • Denis Diderot
    • French Revolution
    • Under Napoleon
  • Workshops
  • Collections
  • World War II
  • The most important wings
  • More on the collections
  • Annie’s complaint about the Mona Lisa
  • Get organized! This is how
  • The Pyramid by I.M.Pei
  • How to avoid the lines
  • How Much Time Should you Spend?
  • The Denon Wing
  • The Mona Lisa
  • The Carousel Shopping Mall and Louvre Entrance
    • Group entrance
  • Conclusion: don’t skip the Louvre, it is a marvelous experience! By checking out this podcast and preparing your visit, you are doing it right. Decide what art you’re most interested in ahead of time and make sure to see that. It is so big and has such rich collections, that we can say with certainty that there is a great find for everyone at the Louvre Museum!

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The Orsay Museum, Episode 15

Orsay Museum: Van Gogh Painting
Night Over the Rhone River Valley by Van Gogh

The Orsay Museum in Paris

On today’s episode Elyse takes us to the wonderful Musée
d’Orsay in the heart of Paris. The Orsay is a favorite of
Americans and for good reason: you will see more impressionist
and post-impressionist here than anywhere else in the world.
Manet, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, they are all
there and they’re all magnificent. This is the museum for both
people who normally don’t visit art museums, and for the
sophisticated art connoisseurs. Have you been? Did you love it? Are you still undecided? We help you think it through on this episode.
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Versailles Chateau, a Day-Trip from Paris, Episode 14

Versailles chateau with cloudy sky

Versailles Chateau, a Day-Trip from Paris

Today on Join Us in France we take a day-trip from Paris to Versailles and visit the Versailles Chateau. This symbol of the absolute monarchy has always inspired both admiration and resentment and we are sure it will not leave you indifferent either. One thing is for sure: it is stately. As a matter of fact, the whole city of Versailles is stately in many ways: wide avenues, statues, grand buildings.

Elyse gives us some historical background, we discuss why you should consider going, and why maybe you should skip it too. Then there’s the question of the lines which can be formidable and some tips on what you can do to make it more bearable.  Should you take the time to explore the grounds or just be in and out of the château? These are all questions we tackle in today’s episode. Enjoy!

If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.

Correction: Elyse misspoke, Louis XIV is the son of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, NOT Mary of Medici.

If you enjoyed this episode, also listen to Louis XIV, Miraculous Child.

Episode Highlights with Time Stamps

  • [3’45”] Where is it the Versailles Chateau?
  • [5’50”] Historical background
    • Hunting Lodge
    • Louis XIII decides to build a country home there
    • Construction starts in 1631
    • Louis XIV decides to establish permanent residence
  • [13’05”] Louis XIV invests fortunes and hires the best
  • [16′] Le Notre, landscape architect
  • [22’30] The role of rich Americans in restoration efforts
  • No privacy for Kings and Queens
  • Le Petit Trianon
  • Marie-Antoinette
  • [30′] During the French Revolution
  • [33’15”] The furniture you will see inside
  • [36’45”] The blessing and curse of having so many historical treasures in France
  • [39’30] Versailles chateau restoration is a work in progress
  • [44′] Getting around
  • [46’10”] How to avoid being stuck in line for hours
  • [55′] The best way to get there

Conclusion: If you don’t have a reserved timed ticket and if you are not visiting with a tour guide, consider arriving around 1 PM so you don’t wait in line as long.

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