Louvre Museum History : Once a little castle today one of the largest museum in the world - Learn more about the place and the masterpieces to be seen

The Louvre is at the same time a splendid and huge royal palace along the Seine river and one of the best art museums in the world. It hosts the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci one of the most famous paintings... Even more since Da Vinci Code Book

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Louvre Museum History

The first Louvre was a fortress built at the beginning of the 13th century by Philip II Augustus to defend Paris against the Normans and English. It consisted of a dungeon surrounded by towered walls. This castle, was sacrificed in the 16th century at the end of the reign of Francis the first in order to make room for a new Renaissance structure. You can still the old walls in a dedicated area in the basement of the Louvre Museum.

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Key dates about Le Louvre
1564 :  Catherine de Medici decided to create a grandiose royal residence by joining the Louvre and the Palais des Tuileries by a series of buildings.
1682 : The Louvre was abandoned as a royal residence when Louis XIV moved the court to Versailles
1793 : During the French Revolution the Louvre became a museum.
In the late 1980s the museum embarked upon an aggressive program of renovation and expansion. When the first plans by the Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei were unveiled in 1984, they included a glass pyramid in the central courtyard

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History of the Louvre Museum and the pyramid

Louvre Museum today : It is the most visited museum in the world ... It is wise to come in the early morning if you intend to visit it to avoid queuing for hours. Good to know : The first Sunday of each month the place is free of access (No ticket to pay). Here are the main masterpieces to be admired : Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, Leonardo da Vinci, Saint Joseph charpentier, Georges de la Tour, The pilgrims of Emmaus, Rembrandt, Liberty Leading the People, Eugène Delacroix ... In March 2007, the museum announced that another Louvre would be completed by 2012 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The thirty-year agreement will prompt the construction downtown Abu Dhabi in exchange for $1.3 billion USD.