“Have you seen The Louvre?” This is a question we often get, and the answer is yes, both the museum and the palace. But in most peoples minds the Louvre is the museum, and they seem to forget about the buildings and the park – strange – because the Louvre Palace Paris is the real attraction in our opinion.
The Louvre is a former royal palace in the very center of Paris, on the right bank of the Seine. It origins back to the medieval period, and the structure has evolved since the 16th century. Starting out as a castle in the early years, he Louvre has been the seat of power in France until Louis XIV moved to Versailles in 1682 together with the government. It remained the formal seat of government until 1789, and is today known globally as the housing for one of worlds largest museums. Besides the museum, various government departments still have their offices inside the buildings.
The complex is a vast collection of wings and pavilions on four main levels. The buildings seems very unified, but is constructed over many phases, old parts modified and restored, or demolished. The area is over 40 hectares and located between Jardin des Tuileries, a beautiful garden, where the Parisians live the lovely live under the warm sun and the Rue de l’Amial de Coligny. The Louvre is divided into the Old and New pavilions, where the old parts is the medieval and renaissance buildings, and the new are from the 19th century, stretching along the north and south sides of the Cour Napoleon.
The old building origins back from 1190 where the fortress or castle was ordered to be constructed by King Philip II Augustus, not as a royal residence, but a sizable arsenal.
During the middle ages the Louvre was renovated often, and under Louis IX in the mid- 13th century, the Louvre became the home of the royal treasury, the king and the court. In the 14th century the fortress was beautified, but after the work was ruined during the hundred years war, and demolished in the 16th century to make room for the renaissance style Louvre we know today, which was a process taking over another 100 years.
Towards the Jardin des Tuileries you find the only part of Louvre which no more exist or have been rebuild. The Tuileries Palace, build in 1564, was destroyed in a huge fire ind 1871 during the suppression, and the western end of the count yard has remained open ever since.
But the thing, catching you eye at Louvre might be the glass pyramids in the courtyard. Constructed in a renovation plan of 1983, this new landmark for architecture opened in 1988, and the inverted pyramid, hanging down underground was finished in 1993.
The Louvre is a beautiful and very impressive place to visit, and we would recommend to visit it both in daylight and by night, where the buildings light up and creates and stunning scenery. Somehow this place makes you return time after time, because of the sheer beauty and atmosphere.