"Le Jardin du Carrousel (Louvre Museum, Part I)" Louvre Tip by Jefie
Louvre, Paris: 796 reviews and 1,585 photos
The Louvre Museum, like the Eiffel Tower, is another one of those Paris must-see attractions, and no matter how often people have told you it is big and no matter how big you're picturing it, it's even bigger than that!
The history of the building itself goes back to 1190, when King Philippe Auguste ordered that a fortress be built to protect Paris from Viking attacks. About three centuries later, King Francois 1er transfomed the fortress into a magnificient Renaissance castle and since then, countless additions have been made over the years by the kings of France. It was finally turned into a museum in 1793 and thanks to donations from all over the world, it has since become one of the biggest art museums in the world.
The visit of the Louvre can actually start on the outside, where you can walk through the "Jardin du Carrousel" and admire over 20 scuptures by Aristide Maillol, as well as the "Arc de triomphe du Carrousel", which was built to commemorate Napoleon III's victories of 1805.
The Louvre's latest addition was not ordered by a king but by Francois Mitterand, then President of France. The museum was expanded under the "Grand Louvre" project, which lasted from 1981 to 1999. Of course, one of the most noticeable additions is I.M. Pei's glass pyramid, or La Pyramide du Louvre, which sits at the center of the Cour Napoleon. The addition of the modern-looking pyramid definitely stirred up some controversy, but somehow I thought it looked really good!
Address: Quai du Louvre
Directions: By the Seine, across from the Pont du Carrousel (metro Musee du Louvre).
Phone: 01 40 20 51 51
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