"Palais du Louvre (the building)" Musée du Louvre Tip by leffe3

Musée du Louvre, Paris: 796 reviews and 1,585 photos

Dating back to medieval times, the present enormous former royal residence has evolved in stages since the 16th century.

The word Louvre itself derives from the Frankish word leower for fortified place and it was the place of power in France from the early 6th century when Paris became the capital of the Frankish France. (It lost this position in name in the 8th century when Aachen became the capital for 200 years or so). It remained the seat of government until the Revolution in 1789, in spite of Louis XIV moving the royal residence to Versailles in 1682.

The Palais du Louvre can essentially be divided into 2 parts ? the older buildings around the Cour Carrée (the smaller of the 2 squares) dating from medieval and Renaissance times and the newer 19th century wings looking onto the Cour Napoleon and the controversial glass pyramid entrance to the Museum.

The older part is built on the site of the 12th century Louvre fortress, which was demolished in 1546. As the monarchs of France became more powerful, so the palace grew and grew. But it was Napoleon III and Haussmann who extended to the west with the new wings.

The palace became a museum in 1793 following the French Revolution in 1789 and is arguably the most ornate in the world. The interior is stunning and whilst vast parts of the design are hidden behind walls to accommodate the collection, there remain numerous rooms and ceiling art that can be as impressive as the art on the walls

Address: 99 rue de Rivoli, 75058 Paris,
Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre
Phone: +33 1 40 20 50 50
Website: http://www.louvre.fr/

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  • Updated Dec 20, 2010
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