A Parisien palace for the people
30.11.2006 - 30.11.2006
Having stood firm in the heart of the city of light for over 800 years, the Louvre has at various times served as a medieval fortress, the palace of the kings of France, and for the past two centuries as one of the world's most famous museums.
Extending along the right bank of the Seine and overlooking the expansive Tuileries gardens in the French capital Paris, the Louvre palace has a remarkable past which intertwines the histories of the former ruling classes and the French people as a whole.
From its vast, grand halls, adorned with captivating works of art, to the intricate detail of the many immaculately frescoed ceilings, the louvre is a masterpiece in its own right and houses one of the most impressive collections in the world tracing back to the birth of the great antique civilisations.
It was not until Louis XIV chose the natural beauty and relative safety of Versailles for his centre of power in the 17th century that the idea for a 'palace of the arts' emerged amongst artists and academics alike.
The Revolution advanced plans to make the existing royal collections once displayed by Henri VI to a privileged few, accessible to the public, as the victorious Napoleonic armies seized masterpieces from across Europe, bringing them to Paris amidst great ceremony.
Once a symbol of power reserved for the ruling elite, the Louvre has been transformed through the centuries to become a palace for the people of the world to enjoy.
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