Palais Le LouvreThe Louvre is one of the largest palaces in the world and, as a former residence of the kings of France, also being one of the most illustrious one in Paris. It epitomizes traditional French architecture since the Renaissance, and it houses a magnificent collection of ancient and Western art.

The vast Palais Le Louvre was constructed around 1200 as a fortress and rebuilt in the mid 16th century for use as a royal palace. It became a public in 1793. The museum presents the main part of its treasures to visitors, in the new Richelieu wing, Islamic art collections, oriental antiques, French sculptures, objects d’art, French paintings & paintings from the Northern school including Rubens.

The Louvre palace in Paris dates back to 1190 and houses the Louvre museum. Its name has been taken from the Latin word Lupara (kennels). During eight centuries, it has been constantly enlarged and blown up by French kings and emperors alike. President François Mitterrand added the final touch to it with his “Le Grand Louvre” project. The project from1981 to 1997 includes an extension and the complete reformation of the museum. The famous Pei glass pyramid marks the new entrance to the museum.

The Louvre is both a splendid and huge royal palace along the Seine River and one of the best art museums in the world. It hosts the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci one of the most famous paintings in the world. From the pyramid entrance, one can also have the way in to one of the best and largest shopping centers in Paris, a really nice underground shopping experience. The relaxing Tuileries garden near by the Louvre museum is one of the most beautiful parks in Paris.

In the late 1980s the Louvre embarked upon an insistent program of renovation and development. When the first plans by the Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei were disclosed in 1984, they incorporated a glass pyramid in the central courtyard that would serve as the museum’s main entrance. Despite having protests before its construction, since its opening in 1989 the pyramid has proven remarkably effective in accommodating the large numbers of visitors. It has even become a relatively beloved landmark of the city. To mark its 200th anniversary, in November 1993, the museum unveiled the Richelieu wing in the quarters that had been vacated by the Ministry of Finance in 1989. This expansion, which completed the museums occupancy of the palace complex, added 230,000 square feet (21,390 sq meters) to the existing 325,000 square feet (30,225 sq meters) of exhibition space, and allowed it to put an additional 12,000 works of art on display in 165 new rooms.

The Museum is divided into four divisions – Sully, Denon, Richelieu and Hall Napoleon. Sully shapes the four sides of the Cent Carree at the eastern end of the building. Denon stretches along the Seine to the south. Richelieu is the northern wing along rue de Rivoli. The split level public area under the glass pyramid is known as the Hall Napoleon. It has an exhibit on the history of the Louvre, a bookshop, a restaurant, a cafe and auditoriums for concerts, lectures and films. The attraction of the Carrousel du Louvre shopping centre, which runs underground from the pyramid to the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, is an inverted glass pyramid, also by Pei. All in all a good blend well worth a full day of one’s time.