The Historical Axis of Paris seen from the Louvre


Last Saturday morning our little Aimée (2 yo) and I visited the Louvre. I had not been inside for many years and it was time to say ‘bonjour‘ to Mona Lisa. Well I was not the only one to have the same idea and Mona Lisa was too busy to send me back her greetings. Never mind for secretly, I did not enter the Louvre to admire her enigmatic smile nor was I there to marvel at some famous sculptures and paintings. I came with one purpose: to capture the Historical Axis of Paris like I never did before, from the very windows of the Louvre.

The Historical Axis of Paris seen from the Louvre

The Historical Axis, on the Right Bank of Paris, is one of our favourite spots in the French capital… It is such an interesting urban feature that we choose to include it to our Paris Walking Tours list. The Historical Axis, also known in French as “Axe Historique”, “Voie Triomphale” or “Voie Royale” is orientated on a 26° angle, following the course of the Sun from its rising in the East to its setting in the West. From its starting point in the Cour Napoléon in the Louvre, it crosses a number of squares, streets, gardens, bridges and monuments.

More than just a series of monuments placed along the axis, it seems that a complex symbolism was at work in the mind of the successive urban planners.

We took a selection of photos of the Axis from various viewed points in the Louvre: Levels 1 and 2 of the Richelieu and Sully wings.

For high-res photos, check our Flickr Album “The Historical Axis of Paris seen from the Louvre 2015“.

The Axis from the Sully Wing


The Axis from the Richelieu Wing



And finally once we got out there was a grand view of the Historical Axis from the equestrian statue of Louis XIV (Cour Napoléon)… We couldn’t help but post this one too:



About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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