Louvre Palace

Find information about the Louvre Palace, discover its architectural marvels and history

A cornerstone of Parisian history and culture, the Louvre Palace is a testament to the evolution of architecture and art, both for its construction and the wonders of the world it holds within its halls.

Originally constructed and completed as a fortress in the late 12th and early 13th century, the Louvre Palace has undergone countless transformations that have led it to the image it presents today – one of the greatest art museums in the world.

Nestled on the right bank of the Seine River, the Louvre building is a timeless structure and a living chronicle of France’s political, cultural, and artistic journey through the centuries.

close-up of the louvre palace

A Glimpse into the history of the Louvre

The Louvre’s architectural journey is a demonstration of France’s socio-political landscape, from its position as a mediaeval fortress under King Philip II to the expansion of its original purpose to include the intermittent usage of the Louvre building as a royal residence between the 1300s and the 1700s and, post-1793, as the museum it is today. One of the oldest sections of the Palace still stands as the Lescot Wing, dated from the 1540s after the renovation by King Francis I.

Other parts of the Louvre Palace’s architecture history also remain, such as the expansion of the building by various Kings across history, renovations by each era’s Le Louvre architect, and so forth. Still, it is also true that in the 21st century, all of this has culminated in the Louvre Palace becoming one of the best galleries in the world.

Regardless, in terms of architecture itself, each layer tells its history. During the reign of King Francis I, the Louvre acquired a Renaissance facade and, at other points in time, mirroring the larger socio-political elements of society, amalgamated endless elements of mediaeval, Renaissance, and modern architectural styles.

sculptures on the louvre palace facade

Le Louvre Architect

louvre palace entrance

But who was the mind behind the beauty and architecture? Who were the original Le Louvre architects?

History puts the metamorphosis of the Louvre into an unforgettable museum at the credit of visionary architects like Pierre Lescot and Louis Le Vau, whose contributions led to remarkable designs.

For example, the Lescot Wing marked a departure from mediaeval aesthetics. Le Vau’s guidance led to the Louvre building embracing classical symmetry and grandeur, which does, indeed, place it securely within its status as a cultural beacon.

The Louvre Exhibition: A Modern Look Into One Of The Best Galleries In The World

The Louvre Palace, majorly dedicated to the arts and museum needs, is divided into three wings for the allocation of a relatively categorical system of distribution.

  • The Sully Wing, for example, is to the East and refers to a cluster of attached square-shaped buildings offering visitors a range of artwork from different centuries and locations worldwide.
  • The Richelieu Wing is to the North, housed in an array of almost symmetrical buildings. It also boasts antiquities, paintings, decorative arts, and sculptures open for the visitor’s viewing.
  • The third art wing is the Denon Wing, a collection of buildings between the Cour Napoléon and the Seine, named after the first museum director. The artwork in this wing is vast and untouchable, especially its boast of holding French Crown Jewels.

Additionally, new Louvre exhibitions are held throughout the year, facilitated and buoyed by the partners to Louvre and interested contributors, marking there a new need to visit the Louvre Palace, too!

The permanent collections include The Salle des Etats, Sculptures, Egyptian Art & Antiquities, The Grande Galerie, and more.

Louvre Palace Roof Paintings

More information about the Louvre

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