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: