The Louvre museum is one of the major landmarks in the French capital that gives a momentary paralysis to every viewer with its bewitching beauty and appeal. There will be hardly any traveler who does not know about this popular city landmark. After all, this is the largest art museum in the world and displays the masterpieces of many veteran artists. However, do you know that this outstanding museum has served several purposes ranging from fortresses to the present national museum? Below are some enlightening details about this amazing transformation.
Louvre in the Middle Ages
King Philip Auguste built a fortress in the capital area during the 11th and 12th centuries. The mansion was made of a keep and a square enclosure. This was to secure Paris during wars and the French Revolution. You can still see some of the ditches of those fortifications displayed in the Carousel du Louvre mall.
The Works of Charles
The transformation of this giant fortress to a spectacular palace was done during the 13th century under the reign of Charles V. This project was supervised by the architect, Raymond du Temple. This is how the old fort became an outstanding castle with dedicated leisure areas and apartments. Unfortunately, a hundred years of wars made them abandon this appealing palace.
The Louvre Palace and Francois I
Francois I is regarded as the sovereign of the Renaissance. The major changes happened during his time; that is between the 13th and 14th century. Some of those important highlights include
- France gets to know about popular artists Leonardo da Vinci and his popular Mona Lisa.
- The Louvre palace built by Charles V was demolished and rebuilt
- Reception areas were set up
- In the 15th century, the remarkable Tuileries Palace was made under the reign of Catherine de Medici
- King Henry IV built a large and attractive gallery between the Tuileries Palace and the Louvre Palace
- Modernization works began in the palace that lasted during the reign of King Henry’s grandson, Louis XIV. He entrusted the development of fragrant gardens in the premises
The Beginning of the Louvre Museum
The Louvre Palace was occupied by intellectuals, noblemen, and artists at first since the residence of Sun King was at Versailles. They suggested the idea is transforming the place into a museum to Louis XIV was. Initially, only the works of the royal collections were displayed in the museum. Eventually, it got expanded with the help of public and private donations, confiscations, and military success, etc. Later, every king who came in rule contributed to the development of the museum.
The Grand Louvre
Redevelopment of the Louvre was done in 1981 when Francois Mitterrand was elected as the president of the French Republic. This redevelopment led to the construction of the popular Louvre pyramids and the extension of the grand entrance to the Carousel du Louvre. Thus, the largest art museum in the world was opened.