Although it is one of the most well known museums in the world, not many know that Paris’s Musée du Louvre was once a fortress built under the reign of France’s King Phillip II in the 12th century. Since that time the Louvre had been remolded and extended to serve as the royal housing for numerous royal families of France until King Louis XIV built the magnificent Palace of Versailles, removing the royal housing from Paris to the French countryside. However, it was not until the French Revolution that the National Assembly decreed that the former fortress, once strong enough to guard French royalty, was worthy enough to guard the French masterpieces, arguably more precious to the French people than the Kings and Queens of old.
Now, marked by a great glass pyramid at its entrance, the Louvre proudly displays within it historic walls, works ranging from the Egyptian, classical, Islamic and Renaissance periods, including paintings from the great French Impressionists themselves. A massive tribute to the artistic hand in both sculpture and painting, the Louvre is a breathtaking palace holding 35,000 works, including masterpieces such as The Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Nike of Samothrace. Impossible to absorb this rich and colorful artistic history in a day, let alone a few hours, this museum deserves return visits.
Musée du Louvre
Métro Palais-Royal / Musée du Louvre
75001 Paris, France
+33 1 40 20 50 50
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