+33 6 44 60 08 08

Monument : The Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum has more than 6000 European paintings and and was originally designed as a palace. It has been influenced by major events in French history. When the Musee d'Orsay was created in 1986, most of the post 1850 works left the Louvre and were transferred to the new Musuem which is close by.

The Louvre was built on the site of a medieval fortress on the banks of the Seine river. It served as the official residence of the French Kings during the 16th and 17th centuries before the court moved to Versailles. It officially became a Museum in 1793 after the Revolution, and is now one of the most important museums in the world.
Its collection, which ranges from Egyptian art of 5000 BC to 19th-century work, is divided into seven departments: Oriental and Islamic Antiquities; Egyptian Antiquities; Greek, Roman and Etruscan Antiquities; Sculpture; Painting; Decorative Arts; and Graphic Arts.

Throughout the XVIIth century, as France assumed a dominant role in Europe, the Louvre's holdings increased dramatically. Particularly important acquisitions during this period were major works by the great Dutch and Flemish masters. In the 18th century the annual salon exhibitions were established. The first state museum was opened in the Louvre in 1793. The central position held by the Louvre in artistic life was magnified by Napoleon I, who began its Egyptian collection. The overall museum complex was completed under Napoleon III (1852-70). Subsequently, the Louvre expanded its collections greatly through gifts and bequests. Its departments now include Oriental (ancient Mesopotamian), Greek and Roman, and Egyptian antiquities; sculpture from the Middle Ages to modern times; furniture and objets d'art; and European paintings and drawings.

In the late 1980's during the construction of Pei's pyramids, the original Medieval fortress base was unearthed, quickly incorporated into the design, and is now on display as part of the museum's collection.

back to the monuments


How to get there

To reach the Louvre Museum from hotel Elysees Union, take bus line 72 at Palais de Tokyo to Quai Francois Mitterand in approx 20 minutes