TheGrand Salon was originally the offices of the Ministry of Finance within the North Wing of the Richelieu Pavilion. After renovation in 1870, Bonaparte became the first ruler to live in the Louvre since Louis XIV.
You can see one of the 15 crystal chandeliers here.
You can also see two Louvre security guards informing a “confused” photographer that he can’t take tripod photography without a passcard. Again, Paul attended to the requisite distraction while I finished taking the 12 photographs necessary to complete a 360° panorama.
Muchlike the Eiffel Tower raised the hackles of the historical societies of the late 1800′s, building a glass pyramid in the centre of the U-shaped Louvre as a main entrance had Paris residents of the 90′s up in arms. Not only is it a remarkable contrast, but it also heats up the joint something fierce.
We didn’t spend much time in the Louvre, simply because you could spend your lifetime exploring the 300,000 pieces of artwork and sculpture that the museum/art gallery holds. Not all 300K works are available for display at once, mind you. We sailed through about a millennia’s worth of ancient and prolific work to get to the Mona Lisa, and on our way to the apartments got a look down a “not for public access” corridor. The terrible state of disrepair of the marble on the floor and walls was surprising considering the impeccable state of the rest of the facility.
With Mona Lisa and Napoleon’s Apartments consumed, we paused for lunch before descending to the depths of the city to the Catacombs. There are several nice restaurants around the Louvre to sit, eat, and people watch.