Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Louvre

This is one of the must-see must-go places in Paris. If you don't, then it's like going into a restaurant without eating, or like buying an oven without using it.

This place is called The Louvre, unfortunately pronounced as The Loo in French. It was originally constructed as a fortress in 1190 by King Phillippe-August to protect the city of Paris, whenever he was away on an overseas business trip (The Crusade).

But over the centuries, this building became one of the most heavily reconstructed & renovated in France. It seemed that each of the successive French kings couldn't agree on one design & purpose. They all had different ideas.

I bet the construction industry at that time was booming. I bet the French Ah Beng contractors must have made lots of money from the turnkey projects.

When king Charles V took over in the 14th century, he decided to convert the whole place into a chateau. But the design was unlike anything of today's. It was dark, narrow & rat-infested. (Now you know where they got the idea for Rattatouile)

Then in 1528, king Francois I took over & flattened the whole area & built a new palace altogether in the open style of the Rennaisance. That must have shot up steel prices along with oil, dairy products, kolo mee & laksa.

And there you have it, the Grand Palace of today...

Grand Palace Courtyard Left.

Grand Palace Courtyard Right.

Grand Palace Courtyard Centre.

The courtyard was so huge that even Singapore could fit in it.

There was also a Grand Fountain, but somehow someone forgot to turn the water tap on.

And just when a Malaysian auntie tourist would start asking, 'Like that only ah?', there's more behind the adjoining gate.

And out of nowhere & without warning (like the Malaysian road construction 20 meters ahead), a haunting voice started permeating the entire surrounding of the courtyard. And it came from this powerhouse soprano lady.

And it was simply beautiful & emotionally moving. If I was to leave Paris at this point, on our first day, I would have been satisfied. This was it. This was the moment.

OK. Alright. I take it back. That was just an expression. Being practical & being true Malaysians, the idea of leaving on the very first day doesn't make a lot of sense.

And then through the gate, we saw again, another breathtaking site - The Palais-Royal-Musee du Louvre! Tom Hanks. Da Vinci. Mona Lisa. Dan Brown. The Da Vinci Code.


derbe said...

Thanks for all the travel pieces Greg & Nee! Really enjoy the realistic kai-kai posts as opposed to those glam glam glossy travel mags.

Wonderful Life said...

Wow... very beautiful place!! Love the architectures...

Greg Wee said...

Thanks Derbe & Wonderful Life. I think maybe we should start a Kaliu Kaliu magazine one day.

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