Posted by: danielfee | February 8, 2012

Travel Photo of the Day 02-08-2012

The Louvre - Paris

 

The Louvre – Paris

The Louvre began in 1190, when King Philippe-Auguste constructed a massive fortress surrounded by a wall and towers on the western edge of Paris. During the 14th century, Charles V turned the medieval fortress into a royal residence. It was expanded under King Francois I who tore down the medieval portion in the process. It was King Henry IV who then added the immense gallery bordering the Seine River which connected the Louvre to the Tuileries Palace which was begun in 1564 by Catherine de Medicis, creating a 1/4 mile long string of buildings. In 1608 Henri IV opened the palace to artists, granting them studio space and living quarters. When Louis IV moved the royal court to Versailles in 1682, the Louvre was overrun by sculptures, painters and architects. In 1793 the Louvre was opened as a museum and has remained so to date. It was Napoleon III that added the final expansion, the Richelieu Wing, which mirrored the wing along the Seine and completed Henri IV’s dream. The latest addition occurred in 1989 when world-famous architect I.M. Pei was hired to design a new main entrance to the museum. The controversial glass pyramid shocked many when it was unveiled.

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