The Louvre Palace and the Pyramid at night

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

The Musee du Louvre (in English, the Louvre Museum or simply The Louvre) is one of the world’s largest museums, and a historic monument. It is in Paris, France. 
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which began as a fortress built in the late 12th century under Philip II. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the nation’s masterpieces. 
The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Today, nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet). With more than 8 million visitors each year, the Louvre is the world’s most visited museum. 
In 1983, French President Francois Mitterrand proposed, as one of his Grands Projets, the Grand Louvre plan to renovate the building and relocate the Finance Ministry, allowing displays throughout the building. Architect I. M. Pei was awarded the project and proposed a glass pyramid to stand over a new entrance in the main court, the Cour Napoleon. The pyramid and its underground lobby were inaugurated on 15 October 1988; the pyramid was completed in 1989. The second phase of the Grand Louvre plan, La Pyramide Inversee (The Inverted Pyramid), was completed in 1993. 

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A Cell In La Conciergerie De Paris

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Photo chosen by ‘Enda Markey Presents  to use as part of the scenic design for the Asia Pacific tour of the production “Do You Hear The People Sing?”, a concert celebrating the work of Boublil & Schönberg (the creators of Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and others).

© RicardMN Photography

Poster ‘Do You Hear The People Sing?’ in Shanghai Grand Theatre. 27 November – 1 December 2013

This image is for the song called ‘Au Petit Matin’ and it’s from Boublil & Schonberg’s first musical, “La Révolution Française” (which preceded “Les Misérables”) and is sung in the original musical by Marie Antoinette as she was imprisoned at La Conciergerie de Paris.

Marie Zamora singing 'Au Petit Matin'

Marie Zamora singing ‘Au Petit Matin’ in “Do You Hear The People Sing” Concert in Shanghai Grand Theatre 11/27/2013. Image on the background by RicardMN Photography

– The first show was in Shanghai Grand Theatre, China, from 27 November to 1 December 2013, starring Michael Ball, Lea Salonga, David Harris, Amanda Harrison and Marie Zamora.  Featuring the Shanghai Opera Orchestra and Choir.

– Special performance of “Do You Hear The People Sing?” at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Manila on 29 & 30 January, headlined by Lea Salonga, David Harris and Marie Zamora, in support of the Yolanda Rebuilding Progam. These concerts raised AU$600,000 to assist with the rebuilding of 200 homes devastated by Typhoon Yolanda through Habitat for Humanity Philippines, through ‘Habitat for Humanity Philippines‘.

– 29 March 2014 the show is in the TICC (Taipei International Convention Center), Taipei, Taiwan, starring Michael Ball, David Harris, Amanda Harrison, Ana Marina and Jennifer Paz.

– Several other dates around Asia, Australia and New Zealand are currently in development.

La Conciergerie is a former royal palace and prison in Paris, France, located on the west of the Ile de la Cite (literally island of the city), near the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. It is part of the larger complex known as the Palais de Justice, which is still used for judicial purposes. Hundreds of prisoners during the French Revolution were taken from La Conciergerie to be executed on the guillotine at a number of locations around Paris.

© RicardMN Photography

Poster ‘Do You Hear The People Sing?’ in Newport Performing Arts Theatre, Manila, 29/30 January 2014

The Conciergerie prison, also known as the “antechamber to the guillotine”, became the central penitentiary of a network of prisons throughout Paris, and was the final stop of over 2,700 people who were summarily executed by guillotine. The dank dungeons were a stark contrast to the beautiful architecture of the palace above. The quality of life of the prisoners was based mainly on their personal wealth, and the whims of the jailers who watched over them.

The revolutionary period continued the prison’s tradition of interning prisoners based on wealth, where the wealthier prisoners could rent a bed for 27 livres 12 sous for the first month, then down to 22 livres 10 sous for the subsequent months. Even when the price was lowered to 15 livres, the commanders of the prison made a fortune: as the Terror escalated, a prisoner could pay for a bed and be executed a few days later, opening the bed for a new inmate who would pay in turn. One memoirist called the Conciergerie “the most lucrative furnished lodgings in Paris”. Only celebrity prisoners got cells to themselves. Most of the pistole inmates were stuffed into a single room which abutted a local hospital, making disease an inevitability. The cramped cells were infested with rats, and the stench of urine permeated every room.

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Saint Germain des Pres – Paris

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

The Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, just beyond the outskirts of early medieval Paris, was the burial place of Merovingian kings of Neustria. At that time, the Left Bank of Paris was prone to flooding from the Seine, so much of the land could not be built upon and the Abbey stood in the middle of fields, or pres in French, thereby explaining its appellation.
The Abbey was founded in the 6th century by the son of Clovis I, Childebert I (ruled 511-558). Under royal patronage the Abbey became one of the richest in France; it housed an important scriptorium in the eleventh century and remained a center of intellectual life in the French Catholic church until it was disbanded during the French Revolution. An explosion of saltpetre in storage levelled the Abbey and its cloisters, the statues in the portal were removed and some destroyed, and in a fire in 1794 the library vanished in smoke. The abbey church remains as the Eglise de Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Paris.

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Guard room in La Conciergerie de Paris

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

La Conciergerie is a former royal palace and prison in Paris, France, located on the west of the Île de la Cité (literally island of the city), near the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. It is part of the larger complex known as the Palais de Justice, which is still used for judicial purposes. Hundreds of prisoners during the French Revolution were taken from La Conciergerie to be executed on the guillotine at a number of locations around Paris.

The Conciergerie prison, also known as the “antechamber to the guillotine”, became the central penitentiary of a network of prisons throughout Paris, and was the final stop of over 2,700 people who were summarily executed by guillotine. The dank dungeons were a stark contrast to the beautiful architecture of the palace above. The quality of life of the prisoners was based mainly on their personal wealth, and the whims of the jailers who watched over them. The revolutionary period continued the prison’s tradition of interning prisoners based on wealth, where the wealthier prisoners could rent a bed for 27 livres 12 sous for the first month, then down to 22 livres 10 sous for the subsequent months. Even when the price was lowered to 15 livres, the commanders of the prison made a fortune: as the Terror escalated, a prisoner could pay for a bed and be executed a few days later, opening the bed for a new inmate who would pay in turn. One memoirist called the Conciergerie “the most lucrative furnished lodgings in Paris”. Only celebrity prisoners got cells to themselves. Most of the pistole inmates were stuffed into a single room which abutted a local hospital, making disease an inevitability. The cramped cells were infested with rats, and the stench of urine permeated every room.

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