Recognized at present as probably the most visited museum on the planet, the Louvre Museum was for hundreds of years the royal home of kings and queens of France. From King Philippe Auguste to François Mitterrand, the primary French leaders have left their mark on the Louvre Palace, increasing and adorning this former defensive tower. On this submit, we’re going to neglect the artworks within the Louvre for a second to study thehistorical past of the Louvre by means of probably the most lovely galleries and halls of the Louvre Palace.
FROM THE MEDIEVAL FORTRESS OF LOUVRE TO THE MUSEUM: THE HISTORY OF LOUVRE
Who constructed the Louvre? The Louvre constructing has a protracted historical past, courting again to medieval occasions. Listed here are the primary contributors to the Louvre Palace:
- King Philip Augustus (1180-1223). He constructed the primary construction, a medieval fortress to safe the ramparts of Paris.
- King Charles V (1364-1380). When the Louvre loses its defensive position, it transforms the Louvre fortress into an expensive royal palace.
- Henry II (1547-1559). This king created a brand new structure with classical traits within the Louvre. When the King died, his spouse Catherine de Medici ordered the development of the Palais des Tuileries, a weekend palace positioned within the countryside within the suburbs of Paris. The 2 palaces had been separated by the town partitions.
- Henry IV (1595-1610). King Henry was one of the vital kings who lived within the Louvre. He designs the Grand Dessein, a grasp plan to attach the Louvre constructing to the Tuileries Palace. The hyperlink has been accomplished with a protracted gallery (La Grande Galerie). The architects of King Henry IV additionally designed the Cour Carré.
- Emperor Napoleon I (1804-1815). He constructed the North wing, parallel to the Grand Gallery. Throughout his reign, Napoleon I additionally constructed the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel to glorify entry to the Tuileries Palace.
- Emperor Napoleon III (1852-1870). He needed to undertake the masterplan of his predecessors, too unhealthy the Tuileries Palace was destroyed by a giant hearth! It was then that the Louvre opened as much as the town, providing new alternatives for main renovations.
- Francois Mitterrand (1916-1966). He launched the “Grand Louvre Challenge”, which consists of affecting the whole Louvre Palace on the museum (till then the Richelieu wing was occupied by the Ministry of Finance) whereas modernizing and enhancing the presentation of Artwork within the Louvre. Mitterrand additionally commissioned the the pyramid of Louvrethe primary entrance to the museum since its opening in 1989.
What to see when visiting the Louvre in Paris
Right here is the perfect of the Louvre Palace: our favourite rooms, halls and galleries of the perfect museum on the planet.
The Louvre Fortress
The development of the Louvre started within the twelfth century throughout the reign of King Philippe Auguste who needed to raised shield Paris earlier than occurring a campaign. The Louvre was a small medieval fortress, a part of the fortress defending the town. Paris was then a small metropolis, restricted to the south by the suitable financial institution of the Seine. This primary Louvre constructing was sq. in plan, separated and protected against the river by a moat fed by the waters of the Seine, with round defensive towers and an imposing central preserve.
Renovation work on the Louvre as a part of the Grand Louvre challenge unveiled the medieval Louvre, elements of medieval Paris, and sections of Charles V’s ramparts which can be a part of the museum at present. After an ideal staging, we will now see a part of the foundations of the Louvre fortress, the moats and likewise a part of the defensive towers.
Corridor of Caryatids
That is a powerful corridor with an entrance embellished with 4 spectacular Greek caryatids, therefore its title. It was constructed throughout the reign of King Henry II as a ballroom for glamorous events. Earlier than the inspiration of the primary Louvre museum, it hosted for just a few years the gathering of sculptures of King Louis XIV, who lived for just a few years within the Louvre earlier than shifting the courtroom to Versailles. Lastly, on the finish of the 18th century, the room hosted vital conferences of the French Academy. At present, the Corridor of Caryatids displays Greek antiquities.
This gallery was constructed within the sixteenth century to attach the Louvre Palace to the Tuileries Palace. In the course of the seventeenth century, it was used for the scrofula ceremony, throughout which the king laid his hand on the sick. On the time of King Louis XVI (1754-1793), this gallery was to be the location of the long run “Royal Museum”. This gallery was shortened within the nineteenth century to construct the Flore wing and now homes Italian work. Regardless of its size and the standard of the artworks on show, it is a gallery that guests “see” rapidly, in a Mona Lisa rush!
The just lately restored Galerie d’Apollon is without doubt one of the most lovely areas within the Louvre. This gallery perpendicular to the Seine was constructed throughout the reign of Henri IV, throughout the building of the Grande Galerie. At the moment, it was referred to as Galerie des Rois and hosted the portraits of the kings and queens of France. In 1661, an ideal hearth destroyed the Galerie des Rois and reconstruction work occurred throughout the reign of Louis XIV. This gallery, the primary royal gallery of Louis XIV, will function a mannequin for the well-known glass gallery of Versailles. Do not miss its spectacular vaulted ceiling!
This courtyard was constructed within the north wing within the nineteenth century. In the course of the Grand Louvre challenge, it was renovated and coated with a glass roof. At present it hosts French statuary and takes its title from the spectacular Marly horses, one among my favourite sculptures within the Louvre!
This room was constructed throughout the Second Empire (1852-1870) to accommodate the workout routines and equestrian occasions of the imperial secure, which is why it’s so imposing. When the Louvre grew to become a museum, the Salle du Mangège was the primary entrance to the Louvre till the development of the glass pyramid of Pei. At present, the Salle du Handle displays Roman antiquities from vital personal collections.
This interior courtyard at present was used for horses to entry the Salle du Manège, therefore the size and form of the staircase. You probably have visited the Château de Fontainebleau, the most effective journeys from Paris by prepare, you can find it similar to that of the fortress. Sadly, this courtyard will not be open to the general public, so you may solely see it from the window.
The ceremonial flats of the Ministry of State
Named “the Napoleon III Residences”, these rooms and halls had been constructed for the Ministry of State between 1852 and 1857. These flats had been meant for visiting personalities comparable to heads of state, and never for Napoleon III himself. . The work was directed by Napoleon III, who lived within the Tuileries and let the general public into the Louvre to view the artwork assortment. The primary lounge and the massive eating room are notably spectacular.
The Louvre pyramid
The glass pyramid, positioned within the Napoleon courtyard, was designed by architect IM Pei. Its building was very controversial and the entire metropolis was towards it, identical to with the Eiffel Tower! The Louvre Pyramid has been the primary entrance to the museum since its opening in 1989 and the image of the Louvre.
The Louvre Pyramid, 21.64 meters excessive, consists of a 95-ton metal construction, a 105-ton aluminum body and accommodates 673 glass panels (603 rhombi and 70 triangles). The glass pyramid will not be the one one: three replicas, surrounding the primary pyramid, are lined with a triangular water base.
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