They were doing renovations when I took this photo of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France, in 1990.
Fun facts about the Louvre . . .
Besides the Louvre museum being the most visited museum in the world, it’s an historic monument and a central landmark of the city. It’s located on the Right Bank of the Seine. Before the pandemic, it averaged 15,000 visitors per day, 65 percent who were foreign tourists.
It was originally built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. On August 10th, 1793, it opened as a museum with an exhibition of only 537 paintings. Now it holds more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art. And guess what? Under the main entrance to the museum is the Carrousel Du Louvre, a shopping mall which has a McDonalds!
I. M. Pei, a famous architect who designed many, many buildings and museums throughout the world, proposed a glass pyramid to stand over the new entrance in the main court, the Cour Napoléon, which became the focal point in the movie The Da Vinci Code. At the end of the movie, Langdon understands that the pyramidion of stone placed under the point of the inverted Pyramid houses the grave of Mary Magdalene.
Pei said, “If there’s one thing I know I didn’t do wrong, it’s the Louvre.” And he was right! He died in 2019 at the age of 102, in Manhattan.
Painted by Leonardo da Vinci, the Mona Lisa took him three years — between 1503 to 1506—and some say even up to 1517, before finishing it. It has been described as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world." A new queuing system was introduced in 2019 to reduce the amount of time museum visitors have to wait in line to see the painting. After going through the queue, a group has about 30 seconds to see the painting. The Mona Lisa is one of the most valuable paintings in the world and holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known insurance valuation in history at US$100 million in 1962 (equivalent to $650 million in 2018). Today in 2020, it’s believed to be worth $860 million. This is the photo I took of her when we visited the Louvre Museum.
I came across this man painting a painting in the Louvre. I didn't want to disturb him, he was very focused, so I wasn't able to get the name of the artist he was copying. I have to admit he was doing an excellent job. I always wondered whatever became of him and his painting?
An exhausted me lying down on the bench, and my friend, Hilde, after visiting the Louvre!
Deep fried scorpions served at the Night Market in Beijing, where people also ate exotic snakes, crickets, centipedes, worms and even noodles. I have to say it was very interesting, bizarre and exotic and a little disgusting—the eating of scorpions and those other insects wasn’t very appetizing to us. And in case you’re wondering, no, we didn’t eat any.
Our hotel was walking distance to a very wide pedestrian street where the Night Market was located. We walked in amazement around all the individual stalls hawking clothing, consumer goods, snacks or fast food, and specialty drinks. The atmosphere was crowded, noisy, while fast-paced music played over loudspeakers. All in all, it was a unique experience.
For now the Night Markets are closed.
Do you believe in miracles? Have you heard of the Parícutin Volcano?
A small village, San Juan Parangaricutiro, was destroyed during the formation of the Parícutin volcano in 1943. The village is now called "Nuevo" (Spanish for "New") San Juan Parangaricutiro.
The volcano began growing out of a cornfield in San Juan Parangaricutiro, Michoacán, Mexico. The ten-mile-long lava flow erupted for eight years, growing to a height of 336 meters. The lava flow buried the village, but the inhabitants were able to evacuate.
Of all the buildings, only the top of the church is now visible from the volcanic deposits. The miracle was that the lava stopped at the altar.
The Paricutin volcano appears in many versions of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The location is about 150 miles south of Guadalajara.
I was lucky enough to see this miracle in 1979. We first had to go by horse and then hike the rest of the way to get to the altar.
I took the gargoyle picture in the upper reaches of Notre-Dame in Paris in 1990.
Besides seeing the ground level of this incredible church (sadly now damaged), you could buy a ticket to enter a side entrance and go up 422 steps to the higher reaches of the cathedral and see much of Paris laid out, plus fantastic stone creatures and the famous bell. From these heights is where I found this gargoyle and ending up taking other incredible shots.
I went to Paris to do research for my first historical mystery novel, The Alchemy of Murder (https://carolmccleary.com/) published by Macmillan, where I had my heroine secretly rendevous in Norte-Dame's bell tower. I'm happy to say that the novel was also published in 13 different countries.