Visit The Louvre (Paris, France)
The Louvre Museum is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world. The Museum has a long history, from the Capetian dynasty until now. The Louvre has over 300,000 works of art, from near Eastern antiquities, Egyptian antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities to 21st century painting and sculptures. It received over 8.5 million visitors in 2006; this museum is the most visited art museum in the world.
The Castle of Louvre was built under Philip Augustus in 1190, to defend Paris against Viking attacks. The old castle was demolished and the first building of the existing museum was begun in 1535. (Various architects were involved in the building of the Louvre eg Pierre Lescot and Ange-Jacques Gabriel)
François I began a collection of art with only twelve paintings, wonderful paintings of Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, and Titian. The collection grew and numbered over 300 pieces by the reign of Louis XIII. Catherine de Médicis enlarged the collection, and Louis XIV added over 2600 paintings and pieces of art.
At the beginnings, the Louvre’s treasures were only for the private pleasure of the kings and their court. The museum opened to the public on August 10, 1793. Napoléon Bonaparte increased the collection in a spectacular manner, extracting pieces of art from the countries he conquered. Napoléon built the Arc of Triomphe du Carrousel in 1805. Under Louis XVIII, one of the most famous sculpture was acquired, the Venus of Milo.
In 1848 the Louvre became the property of France. The collections continued to grow and many private donations enlarged the collection. Baron Edmond de Rothschild donated over 41,000 pieces of art in 1935.The Louvre was still being added by Napoléon III; the new wing represents the neo-baroque, laden with sculptures. In 1947, the impressionist paintings were moved to l’Orangerie.
The central courtyard, on the famous axis of Champ Elysée, is occupied by the Louvre Pyramid, built in 1989. It is the main entrance to the Grand Louvre. The Pyramid is a large glass pyramid, commissioned by the president François Mitterand, and covers the museum entresol.
Le Grande Louvre displays only a small fraction of its works of art, because the treasures of Louvre include the world’s most precious paintings and sculptures, such as The Joconde – Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, The Winged Victory of Sarmothrace, the Liberty Leading the People. The collections are housed in the wings of the museum: Sully, Denon, and Richelieu.
See Paris Short Breaks to plan your Paris visit
Amazing works of artists like Fragonard, Titian, Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Rubens, Poussin and David are an irresistible attraction. Some notable paintings are Giotto’s Saint Francis of Assisi received the stigmata (about 1300), Leonardo’s the Virgin and Child with St. Anne (1508), Raphael’s La belle jardinière (1508), Rembrandt’s Bathsheba at her bath (1654), Poussin’s Et in Arcadia ego (1638). Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa (1819) produces a strong impression, as well as Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty leading the people (1830).
Photos taken within 10 km
Address: Paris, Paris, Paris, 75000 || GPS: latitude 48.861111, longitude 2.336389
Map of The Louvre & places nearby
Highlights close by
Paris Opera 1km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near The Louvre, France
- Cathédrale de Notre Dame (Paris) - religious monument
- Sainte Chapelle (Paris) - religious monument
- Palais Royal - Paris
- Jardin du Palais-Royal - remarkable garden
- Pont-Neuf - Paris
- Saint-Eustache - Paris
- Abbaye Notre Dame de Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Paris) - religious monument
- Orsay Museum - Paris
- Jardin des Tuileries - Paris
- Conciergerie - national monument