Paris – The Louvre

DSC_4470

After several stops, we found ourselves at one of the most famous and extensive museums in the entire world… The Louvre .  The museum is located in the Louvre Palace and is home to over 35,000 objects that date from prehistoric times to the 21st century.

The Entrance

                                                                      The Entrance

I was amazed at the size of this place.. As soon as I walked through the doors, I knew I had not planned enough time here.  It would be entirely possible to spend several days exploring all the exhibits, painting, sculptures and art that is kept within these walls.  It is a total immersion into history.

A Sculpture Gallery inside Th Louvre

A Sculpture Gallery inside The Louvre

Of course, like all tourists, the main objective was up 2 stories and through a maze of paintings … and sculptures.    

Sculpture

The Red Room

The Red Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mona Lisa….DSC_4536Objective accomplished!  And, yes, like all good tourists, I had my picture made in front of, what might be, the most famous painting in the world.  One more item off the bucket list, I have actually seen the Mona Lisa in The Louvre.

The rest of the  journey through the museum was anti-climactic, though no less awe-inspiring.  I ended the tour with a late lunch in the inner courtyard under a beautiful blue sky.  I marveled at the wonderful architecture of the building itself. It truly is a beautiful place and the next time I visit Paris, I will plan an entire day just for The Louvre.

DSC_4491 DSC_4490 DSC_4483 DSC_4481DSC_4493 DSC_4543 DSC_4560 DSC_4562 DSC_4563

St. Sophia’s Cathedral and Sophia’s Square

St. Sophia's Cathedral - Street view

St. Sophia’s Cathedral – Street view

Saint Sophia’s Cathedral complex is one of Kiev’s most recognizable landmarks. It is known in Ukrainian as Sobor Sviatoyi Sofiyi (Собор Святої Софії) or Sofiyskyi Sobor (Софійський собор). It was built between 1037 – 1299 during the reign of Yaroslav the Wise. The name comes from the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990.

St. Sophia's - late afternoon in the Square

St. Sophia’s – late afternoon in the Square

I would recommend an early visit for the best photographs.. It is an impressive sight when the sun lights the bell tower in the morning. And as an added incentive, the square does not really get crowded until after 11 AM…

 St. Sophia’s Square is also home to Kyiv’s largest monument to Bohdan Khmelnytsky, a Ukrainian hero and folk legend. He led an uprising against the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth that led to the formation of an independent Cossack state. He is considered to be one of the fathers of the nation.

St. Sophia's

St. Sophia’s

 

Monument to Bohdan Khmelnitsky

Monument to Bohdan Khmelnitsky