So after the rant of yesterday, let me tell you about the secret hidden spots in the Louvre.
1. The moat room
The Louvre has a moat. Yeah I know, an ex-palace art gallery with a moat but just go with me on this one. Most people manage to find their way to the outer moat, but there is a doorway off to the side where you can find your way into the inner circle. This place is cool, calm and completely devoid of tourists. The perfect spot for a breather.
2. The side entrance
Instead of queuing with the unwashed at the divisive glass pyramid, head over to the Porte de Lions side entrance which hardly anyone uses. It is the quickest way I have found to get in and you can always exit through the pyramid if you want to see inside. FYI it is half way down the long arm of the building on the river side.
3. Les Galerie d’Apollon
Ok this one does not exactly fit the ‘quiet spot’ definition, but it is something that a lot of people miss in the mad dash to the Mona Lisa. Les Galerie d’Apollon is a long room with one of the most beautiful ceilings possible, in this room you have my full permission to ignore the art. Just go and sit in a corner and stare at the sky.
4. The Greek Vase rooms
For some reason the rooms displaying the Greek vases are completely off the radar of Louvre visitors. There was not a single person in the long chain of rooms when I was there, so I was able to drink in thousands of years of myth and creativity by myself.
5. Islamic Art gallery
This is a relatively new Louvre creation, it is a gallery dedicated to Islamic Art in a spare courtyard. The room has a crazy fish scale type roof which lets in oodles of light, and gives some relief from the normal overly busy galleries.
6. Napoleons Apartments
In one of the corners of the Louvre is where Napoleon lived while the building was still a palace. Whoever designed these rooms was a massive fan of gold and never saw a chandelier that he didn’t like – well worth a look just to see how over the top they are.
7. Musée national Eugène Delacroix
This one was a surprise for me. Turns out when you buy a Louvre entrance ticket you also get entry on the same day to the Musée national Eugène Delacroix which is just on the other side of the river. It is the house where Delacroix lived and died and is a must visit for anyone who likes his paintings.