The Louvre is one of the world's largest museums and a historic monument and a central landmark of Paris. Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres. The Louvre is the world's most visited museum, and received more than 9 million visitors annually.

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces.

The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum renamed the Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and gifts since the Third Republic. The collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.

Among many others the most famous pieces of art are undoubtedly High Renaissance works by Leonardo da Vinci (Mona Lisa, Virgin of the Rocks), Caravaggio, Titian and many more.

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Founded: 1793
Category: Museums in France

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tregele Panna (3 years ago)
Cool place to draw sculptures in the evenings when there are not as many people. I really liked the ancient stuff on the first two floors and can't wait to go back to see the rest of the museum. The building itself is beautiful too and the pyramids add a nice modern touch, but it still matches the vibe of the palace.
Ally Band (3 years ago)
We were able to visit the Louvre for free because we are European citizens and younger than 25. Even though there are many visitors the Louvre is not overcrowded. We expected the Mona Lisa to be bigger than she actually is but I am glad we were finally able to see one of the most famous women of all the time. Also be prepared to be there for a long time.
Vaishali Patil (3 years ago)
Beautiful and picture perfect place. Spend some time outside also. The exterior architecture is worth to be admired. Just opposite is the famous Note Dame Church. Keep yourself safe. Beware of local group/gangs who may indulge you in money lounging.
Sérgio Silva (3 years ago)
What an amazing place. You feel in awe just to step inside. The draws are awesome, Venus, victory, la joconda, but to find out all there is inside is truly what this museum is all about. So many amazing works of art it's unbelievable. You could be a week here and still don't see everything, but with the right plan you can spend a lovely afternoon and still be satisfied. Awesome!
ganesan ganesan (3 years ago)
Superb! Huge museum! Prepare to get a proper guide there as you definitely won't be able to see every single exhibit there in 1 day. Full of art and history with amazing stories behind each painting and sculpture. Amazing! Simply an amazing museum! Make sure to do some research before heading there in order to connect with the art and exhibits there!
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