Thirteen things you may not have known about The Louvre
1. It was originally built by King Philip Augustus in 1190 as a fortress to protect Paris from invaders.
2. By the mid-14th century, it was no longer needed for defense because Paris had grown up around it and it was no longer on the edge of the city.
3. In 1364, the transformation from royal fortress to royal residence was begun with the remodeling of the interior apartments.
4. After the death of Charles VI in 1422, no work was done on the palace for a whole century.
5. When Francis I took up residence in 1527 it was still a medieval keep. By the time he was through, it was a Renaissance palace.
6. In 1564 Catherine de Medici built the Tuileries Palace. Once finished, it was decided to connect it to the Louvre and create an even larger and grander residence.
7. The Grande Galerie was added during the reign of Henri IV. More than a quarter mile long, at the time it was built, it was the longest structure of its kind in the world.
8. In 1672, Louis XIV moved into his new palace of Versailles. He later invited several artistic and academic groups to take up residence in the Louvre.
9. In 1699, the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture held the first of many exhibits open to the public.
10. As the Louvre was expanded, many famous works of art were brought in to add to the decor, including paintings, tapestries, and sculptures. For many years, these items were only there for the enjoyment of the royal residents.
11. The largest expansion took place in the mid-19th century during the reign of Napoleon III. Two new wings were added and connected to the Tuileries palace, creating a square design with an open courtyard in the middle.
12. In 1871 the Tuileries palace burned down - opening the Louvre's western side and creating the now famous courtyard.
13. The Louvre is one of the largest and, arguably, the most well-known museum in the world.
This Day in History: The Louvre opened for the first time as a public museum on November 8 of what year?
Labels: Louvre museum, Thursday Thirteen