The Louvre – from the beginning up to now

In Paris there was always a set of magnificent places for visiting which hundred thousand foreign tourists came to the city. Today the situation has not changed at all, and streets of the French capital at any time of the year are full of idle travelers. On our site we had already told about a great number of interesting sights of this nice city, but we do not plan to stop on it. In this note it would be desirable to tell in brief the story of one of the most well-known museums of the world – the Louvre which every year becomes a place of pilgrimage of a huge number of fans of the art coming to Paris to see with their own eyes masterpieces from, perhaps, biggest in the world collection of works of art.

The Louvre became a museum rather recently (only about two hundred years ago); however it has more than 800-years’ history.

Initially on this place there was a defensive medieval fortress which after some time was transformed to the magnificent palace belonging to the French royal family.


In general, the Louvre-fortress is directly obliged by the occurrence to the king of France Philippe Auguste who has published the corresponding decree in the end of the twelfth century. However, time passed, kings had been leaving this world, on their place others came, and each of them had his own view on what should the Louvre be. Therefore for the long history it was constantly completed and reconstructed, owing to what to find something from a primary fortress today is obviously hardly possible.

Now it is difficult to imagine, however when in the end of the seventeenth century the royal residence has moved to not less well-known nowadays Versailles, the Louvre has appeared absolutely thrown, and (thank God that it did not happen) in the middle of the next century the palace could have been taken down as superfluous.

But the times of troubles of desolation and the first Revolution passed and the attention of masters have again been riveted on the Louvre. The first fans of art have visited the Louvre-museum in 1793. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte has also made a decision to renew work on reconstruction and the Louvre building. After that here appeared the museum which became the world history as one of the nicest and richest on art masterpieces. Napoleon has enjoined each conquered nation to transfer to the museum a part from the works of art.

The museum had received that external shape which many of us had a possibility to admire, in 1871; then the first serious “brick” has been put to its collection. It is the collection of works of art of the King François I – the monarch has started to collect it in the sixteenth century. In a consequence it was supplemented with kings Louis XIII’ and Louis XIV’ collections.

Today the Louvre has about 400000 exhibits among which it is possible to find those created during far times of the occurrence of the most ancient civilizations. For example, here it is possible to see statues from Assyrian king Sargon II palace, dated eighth century B.C.

In the early eighties under the decision of the President of France François Mitterand there have begun the Louvre restoration works thanks to which many elements of the building destroyed by time have been restored. And, naturally, there was already a well-known pyramid made of glass by architect Ieoh Ming Pei.