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Is There a Virtual Tour of the Louvre?

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Located along the Seine River in Paris, France, the Louvre is not only the largest art museum in the world, but it’s also the most visited, welcoming millions of people each year. But not everyone can make it to France to see the historic building that originally served as a castle for Philip II, especially with a pandemic going on. For this reason, the museum, which opened in 1793, offers virtual tours of both the facility and its exhibitions and galleries. All you have to do is visit the museum’s website . Once you finish up there, you can find even more virtual tours of the Louvre online.

Which Virtual Tours Are Available?

When you visit the Louvre’s website, you’ll find a handful of virtual tours available at any given time. They’re subject to change as exhibitions inside the museum change, but you’ll usually get a chance to see some of the museum’s most popular exhibits and galleries in the tours on offer. 

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You might catch a glimpse of “Egyptian Antiquities,” which features artifacts from the Pharaonic period, or “Body in Movement,” which is all about dance. You can also virtually tour the remains of the Louvre’s moat, which was built around 1200 by King Phillipe Auguste to protect Paris.

Other Online Activities at the Louvre

Once you’ve finished checking out virtual tours on the museum’s site, you can take a look at some of the other virtual resources the Louvre offers, all of which are family-friendly. One is the Mona Lisa virtual reality app that you can download for your iPhone or Android smartphone. The museum also offers a short children’s program via YouTube called “One Minute in a Museum.” It features three cartoon characters checking out various works of art that are on display at the Louvre. Speaking of YouTube, there’s an entire playlist set up on the Musee du Louvre account that features various famous YouTubers exploring the museum. Finally, you can visit the “A Closer Look” page of the museum’s website to learn more about some of the more famous art there via various forms of multimedia.

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Other Sources for Virtual Louvre Tours

Beyond the Louvre’s website, there are countless other sources online that allow you to tour the museum without leaving the comfort of your home. A quick search will provide you with dozens of options. Some of the more popular ones are Youvisit.com , which provides a 360-degree view of various locations around the museum, and Openculture.com , which offers a list of different video tours.

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Visiting the Louvre in Person

If you do ever plan to visit the Louvre in person, you can find it on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement in the heart of Paris. Both the Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre Métro and the Louvre-Rivoli stations service the museum if you plan to take public transportation. Visitors can enter at the pyramid, which is considered the museum’s main entrance, or you can enter from Carrousel du Louvre, a mall that sits underground. A third entrance is at the Porte des Lions.

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Origins of the Louvre

The Louvre was originally a castle built during the late 12th century for King Philip II of France, and remnants of this original structure are still visible in the current museum’s basement. By 1682, King Louis XIV decided to move the royal residence to the Palace of Versailles, and the Louvre was used to display the royal art collection, which included ancient Greek and Roman sculptures. During the French Revolution, the Louvre became a public museum, and it officially opened its doors in 1793 with about 700 paintings and other works of art. Initially, the public could visit for free on a few days each week.


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Matador Original Series

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Paris To Ban Tour Buses From City Center

F or reasons ranging from overcrowding to the negative environmental impact, many European cities are cracking down on tourism in city centers. Now, Paris is joining the fight. In an attempt to encourage more environmentally friendly travel like walking, cycling, or public transport, the city wants to ban tourist buses from the city center.

Emmanuel Gregoire, Paris’ deputy mayor, is fearful that Paris’ mass tourism could reach the same dangerous levels of Venice and Barcelona , and also claims that the negative effects like traffic, noise, and pollution caused by the buses aren’t welcome by local residents, so the government is introducing legislation to curb them.

According to Gregoire in an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien , the local government “no longer wants the total anarchy of tourist buses in Paris.” He goes on to explain that there will be a lot of places outside of the city proper for the buses to park — tourist buses will no longer be allowed in the heart of the city. Both guides and tourists will need to adapt with walking and cycling tours, and by using the French capital’s efficient public transportation network.

tour jean nouvel paris 13

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“These two buildings aim at increasing the pleasure of being in this place. They seek out views, accommodate vegetation on their terraces. The hotel offers a panoramic restaurant and a large roof-covered terrace facing the Seine and historic Paris. The summit of the office tower features a panoramic meeting space as part of the development program.”

Jean Nouvel

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Paul Clemence Captures Ateliers Jean Nouvel 's Completed Tours Duo in Paris

Paul Clemence  Captures Ateliers Jean Nouvel 's Completed Tours Duo in Paris - Image 1 of 18

  • Written by Paula Cano
  • Published on September 07, 2022

Jean Nouvel's recently completed towers , Tours Duo, redefined the Parisian skyline. Captured by Paul Clemence in his latest photo series, the project by Ateliers Jean Nouvel creates a singularity in relation to the rails that lead into the city's heart and define the Avenue de France . Established as a landmark on the East side of Paris and considered to be the city's future, Tours Duo is a mixed-use project that completes and modifies the unfinished context of this part of the city.

Paul Clemence  Captures Ateliers Jean Nouvel 's Completed Tours Duo in Paris - Image 2 of 18

Completed in 2021, the towers Duo 1 of 39 stories and 180metres, and Duo 2 of 28 stories and 125 meters high, incorporate a hotel designed by Philippe Starck , office spaces, bars and restaurants, an auditorium, and retail rooms. Encountering the conditions of the site, an industrial zone on the banks of the Seine, the windows operate as shields from the sound and dust pollution of the ring boulevard.

Paul Clemence  Captures Ateliers Jean Nouvel 's Completed Tours Duo in Paris - Image 2 of 18

Like any Nouvel architecture, the towers create a visual landscape . These two inclined volumes come into focus by sharping the perspective of the Avenue de France and catching the reflection of the rail tracks adjacent to the site. One of the towers is along the boulevard du Général Jean-Simon, a growing urban hub, to provide a visible dynamic seen from the boulevard. The location also provides, in Nouvel's words, "a more urban , a more human access to the project."

The French architect’s ability to inject his international image is captured by Paul Clemence in framing the open V of sunlight. The transverse fracture between the volumes is also a resource to preserve views of the Berliet industrial building, the French manufacturer of automobiles. The V composition marks a city landmark. Besides setting character in Eastern Paris , the Duo 1 tower is the third tallest building in Paris, after Tour Eiffel and Tour Montparnasse .

Paul Clemence  Captures Ateliers Jean Nouvel 's Completed Tours Duo in Paris - Image 4 of 18

Paul Clemence 's lens gives context to the ambitious plan to reshape Paris . His pictures of the facade composition and their reflection reveal the singular beauty of the site. The photographs allow appreciation of the playful terraces and the intersection of the volumes.

Besides the Tours Duo, Jean Nouvel is designing a New Vertical Neighbourhood, a new mixed-use development in the Greater area of the French capital. Moreover, the Hekla Tower in La Défense, a 220-meter-high tower designed by the Ateliers, is due to be completed in 2022. Both projects align with the Parisian future-forward urbanist strategies that plan to ban non-essential traffic from its city center by the Olympics in 2024 .

Paul Clemence  Captures Ateliers Jean Nouvel 's Completed Tours Duo in Paris - Image 14 of 18

See the full series and learn more about Paul Clemence's work on his Facebook page Archi-photo .

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Paul Clemence  Captures Ateliers Jean Nouvel 's Completed Tours Duo in Paris - Image 1 of 18

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paul clemence photographs jean nouvel's leaning 'tours duo,' now complete in paris

Two leaning towers of paris.

Photographer Paul Clemence captures Tours Duo, designed by architect Jean Nouvel , following their completion in Paris . The two towers host a mixed-use program and rise above a former industrial site along the edge of the Seine in the French capital’s Rive Gauche district. Now standing as a ‘top business real estate destination,’ the work introduces an eight-story hotel designed by Philippe Starck, office space, retail, a top floor restaurant-bar, gardens and green terraces, as well as a new point of access to the river. The pair of towers are defined by their shifted posture, subtly shifted volumes, and rippling brise soleil system.

‘tours duo’ through the lens of paul clemence

With their leaning stance, Jean Nouvel‘s Tours Duo suggest an asymmetrical V. The taller of the two towers rises 180 meters (590 feet) and 39 stories while the other rises 122 meters (400 feet) and 27 stories. Paul Clemence captures the architecture with its dynamic, shifted profile and dynamic facade, following its completion in 2021. The architect crafts the towers with this unique expression, echoing that of SHoP Architects’ American Copper Buildings along New York City’s East River, which take shape with a similar gesture. 

architecture by Ateliers jean nouvel

The design team at Ateliers Jean Nouvel comments on its Tours Duo, and the spirit of the design: ‘ Eastern Paris is slowly coming into focus, building up and taking form, completing and modifying an unfinished context. This project is about building its summit, its culminating point for the beginning of the century. It is also about creating a character, a singularity that is in relation with the reality of the site, that reveals its particular beauty, that relies on it to invent and strengthen the attractiveness of the place .’

project info:

project title: Tours Duo

architecture: Atelier Jean Nouvel   |  @ateliersjeannouvel

location: Paris, France

client: Ivanhoé Cambridge and the BPCE Group

developer:   @ivanhoecambridge ,  @hines

construction:   @vinci.group ,  @vinciconstruction

aluminum:   @cortizoarch ,  @cortizoaluminium

glass: Cricursa

previous coverage:  May 2021

photography: ©  Paul Clemence | @photobyclemence


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PARIS 13ème - Atelier Jean Nouvel - octobre 2022


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Commercial Offices

Tours Duo 1

Ateliers Jean Nouvel / Photo: Johnny Yim

Tours Duo 3

Project Datasheet

External appearance

Glazing application

Curtain Wall

Construction type

Green building

Platinum, Platinum, Exceptionnel

Ivanhoé Cambridge Europe, Paris/France


Laetitia Degroote Cheuvreux – Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Paris, France

General Contractor

BATEG, Vinci Construction


Permasteelisa Italia

Glass processor(s)

Vetrodomus, IT / Cristec Glass SL, ES

Product List


The twin towers of the Tours Duo, 180 and 125 metres high, are undoubtedly a new landmark of Paris. Located in the 13th arrondissement on the edge of the currently largest urban development area, the Quartier Rive Gauche, the towers mark the point where centre and periphery meet. Furthermore, they form a visual axis with the nearby Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand on Avenue de France.

The ensemble of the two towers designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel offers a mix of usage. The tallest tower alone, Duo 1, with 39 floors above ground, comprises 69,000 square metres of office space, and is also equipped with a restaurant, shops and an auditorium. In the lower Tower, Duo 2, around 19,000 square metres are planned for offices as well as shops, a panorama restaurant with bar and a four-star hotel. The hotel has 139 rooms and was designed by renowned designer, Philippe Starck.

Standing asymmetrically in relation to each other and each slightly inclined, the twin towers form a monumental V. A "head" was added to the taller tower, which "bends" towards the Avenue de France and thus creates a visual axis to the library. The façades are made entirely of glass. Thanks to the COOL-LITE® SKN 076 solar control and thermal insulation glass from SAINT-GOBAIN, excellent energy consumption parameters were achieved. This solar control product features a high performance coating. The high light transmittance reduces the requirement for interior lighting during daylight hours, helping reduce energy costs even further.

A special effect is achieved with COOL-LITE® ST Bright Silver, a tempered glass with good levels of sunlight control features and an elegant appearance. The highly transparent and reflective solar control glass was selected for the outer layer of double-skin façades and can be pre-tensioned, bent and laminated into safety glass. This offers architects a great scope for unique and modern designs.

Depending on the orientation and lighting conditions, the façades show the pulsating city life. Some areas of the façade have glass panes pointing downwards like scales. This enhances the effect of reflection and underlines the lively character of the buildings.

The Tour Duo also convinces in terms of sustainability: The new building was awarded LEED® Platine and WELL Platinum. It received the HQE Exceptional certificates for particularly sustainable construction and project planning as well as the Effinergie+ label for its low primary energy consumption.

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