05 February 2019

Paris: monuments (1998)

The entrance to the Louvre when I first went there in 1970 was a small door sort of in the middle of this wing of the complex. It was hard to find. My impression back then (1970) was that the museum was sort of a closely guarded secret. You had to do some work before you were allowed to enter and see the treasures kept inside. This wing is called the Aile Denon and was added on to the older Grande Galerie along the Seine in the 19th century.

These are photos I took in June 1998 with a Kodak digital camera.

Back in 1970, the main courtyard, where the famous and once-controversial pyramid stands now, was actually a parking lot. Until 1989, the French Ministère des Finances occupied space on the north side of the complex. I assume it was the employees of the ministry who could park there. The glass pyramid makes for a much more impressive courtyard.

The Louvre complex was built over many centuries by many different French monarchs. The current Hôtel de Ville (city hall), however, was built between 1874 and 1882, after the older hôtel de ville was burned down during the 1871 Paris Commune insurrection. It's on the Seine just a kilometer east of the Louvre. Paris has had an elected mayor only since 1977 — Jacques Chirac was elected then.

This is the Place des Victoires, not far from the Louvre and the rue Montorgueil neighborhood. The man on the horse is Louis XIV, the Sun King, and the place was named in honor of his military victories. He was king of France for 72 years, from 1643 until 1715, but this statue depicting him on horseback dates back only to 1822. An earlier bronze statue of him was knocked down by revolutionaries in 1792.


  1. The only time I have been in the Louvre was Easter weekend, 1974.....A lot has changed. But a lot has not.

  2. Renzo Piano did a good job considering the setting. Hard to compete with the Louvre, so he didn't--the pyramid is devoid of decoration and even transparent.

    1. I'm not sure but I think the pyramid may be I M Pei, and Centre Pompidou is Renzon Piano. I like the pyramid. Surprising how many iconic Paris buildings started out as controversial, from Tour Eiffel on...

  3. I've never paid attention to that statue of Louis XIV. I wouldn't have even been able to tell you that there was one around there. Ha!

  4. I just found my flights to and fro for the year 1998, and where I stayed in between.

    ? —> 3 avril Salton City
    3 avril —> 4 juin Arlington
    4 juin—> 3 juillet Salton City
    3 juillet —> 10 août Arlington
    10 août —> 8 novembre Paris
    8 novembre —> 27 novembre Arlington
    27 novembre —> 7 décembre San Francisco
    7 décembre —> avril Salton City

    Now, I have to find dated pictures for each of theses locations and dates. When I have them all, I'll Wetransfer you the pertinent ones.

    1. A few days ago I saw photos of you and my mother that I took the day we spent exploring the desert and the badlands near Salton City back in 1998 — it must have been in March. Now I can't find them again. It's a mystery. I also have 1998 photos of Death Valley that I had to have taken with your DC50 Kodak camera, so I must have kept it until I saw you again in August, in Normandy, that year.

    2. Since there was so much traveling that on your part as well as mine (and also Walt's), I'm not sure yet precisely when I used my DC50 Kodak camera. I'm gathering photos and will be sending some of them when they're processed in a few days. Once you get into the depth of a computer, you don't know what's going on! I do have photos of your mother, you, Gabby and Mary in Julian in March of that year. I do have photos of Font's Point on the way to Borrego Springs.

    3. Of course, it's much traveling that year, sorry

  5. I love the Louvre. I visited Paris in June 2001. I was doing a 15-day guided tour of France, so I decided to arrive in Paris 4 days early and visit what I wanted to see on my own before I joined the tour. I stayed in a hotel I had found on the internet which was nice enough but it never occurred to me to check to see if it had air conditioning. It did not and the weather was hot! But I only slept there, so it was fine. I got a transit pass and really got my money's worth. I spent an entire day at the Louvre. I followed Rick Steve's advice and entered through the Metro station where there was no line.


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