One of the world’s largest museums and one of the most iconic landmarks of Paris, the Louvre is a place of alluring and enchanting majesty. Featured in films throughout the ages and reverberating strongly in popular culture, it has one of the largest collections of artwork – from prehistory right up to the present day – to be found anywhere. By turn it astonishes and amazes over eight million visitors a year.
The location of the museum is the Louvre Palace, a fortress dating from the 12th century. Over time, the building has seen many changes and renovations, and it has a long history of displaying artwork – in the 17th century, Louis XIV housed his collection of classical sculpture within the walls, and for a hundred years from 1699 the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture held exhibitions here too.
It was not until after the French Revolution that the Louvre became a public museum. Many of the first exhibits had been confiscated from the Church. The museum continued to amass collections, especially during the Second French Empire.