Part of the palace of the Louvre. I had never realized this place was so immense. It is after all, the largest museum in western culture, but reading that and then seeing it in person just are not the same thing. In fact, the first night we stumbled across this courtyard I did not even realize it was part of the Louvre. We had wandered from the Pont Neuf if I remember correctly on the way to catch a bus back to the Eiffel Tower and the apartment, when I decided I wanted to cut through an opening into what looked like a small courtyard. Well, that courtyard actually turned out to be something much larger than I had anticipated.
It was a wonderful find. Completely enclosed on all four sides by buildings of this type, the plaza was almost silent, the sounds of the city walled away to a dim and distant murmur. A few people here and there crossed the expanse of the square, but they too must have been aware of the almost reverent nature of this place at night, for barely anyone spoke much above a quiet murmur.
This was one of those moments I love photographing at night, as the long exposures were a perfect reinforcing excuse to just sit there, stare and soak it in.