Louvre Museum is one of the largest museums in the world, located in the center of Paris, in the 1st district. Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 m². With more than 8 million visitors each year, it is the most visited museum in the world.
The museum is located in the Louvre Palace, once a fortress built in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remains of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles as his house, leaving the Louvre as a place to display the royal collection. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the masterpieces of the nation. The museum opened 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings. Due to structural problems of the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801.
The museum collection increased under Napoleon, it was renamed the Napoleon museum. After the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X. During the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces.
In 2008, the collection is divided among eight departments : Egyptian Antiquities, Oriental Antiquities, Greek Antiquities, Etruscan and Roman, Islamic art, sculpture, decorative arts, paintings, prints and drawings.
You can book tickets to the Louvre Museum with audioguide.