Paris Louvre Museum

The Paris Louvre museum held on to its title as the world’s most popular museum in 2017, welcoming a record 8.1 million people.

Overview

The Louvre Museum in Paris , France , is the oldest and one of the most famous art gallery and museum in the world. The Louvre has a long history of artistic and historic conservation, from the Capetian dynasty until today. The building was previously a royal palace, and is famous for holding several of the world’s most prestigious works of art, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, Madonna of the Rocks and Alexandros of Antioch’s Venus de Milo.

Construction and architecture

The first royal “Castle of the Louvre” was founded in the centre of Paris by Philip Augustus in 1190, as a fortified royal palace to defend Paris on its west against Viking attacks. In the 14th century, Charles V turned it into a palace of the arts. During his reign (1589-1610), King Henry IV added the Grande Galerie and invited hundreds of artists and craftsmen to live and work on the building’s lower floors. More than a quarter of a mile long and one hundred feet wide, this huge addition was built along the bank of the River Seine and at the time was the longest edifice of its kind in the world.

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