The Louvre is the world's largest museum and houses one of the most impressive art collections in history. The magnificent, baroque-style palace and museum — LeMusée du Louvre in French — sits along the banks of the Seine River in Paris. It is one of the city's biggest tourist attractions.
History of the Louvre
The Louvre was originally built as a fortress in 1190, but was reconstructed in the 16th century to serve as a royal palace. "Like many buildings, it was built and rebuilt over the years," said Tea Gudek Snajdar, an Amsterdam-based art historian, museum docent and a blogger at Culture Tourist.
During its time as a royal residence, the Louvre saw tremendous growth. Nearly every monarch expanded it, according to History.com. Today, it covers a total area of 652,300 square feet (60,600 square meters). In 1682, Louis XIV moved the royal residence to Versailles, and the Louvre became home to various art academies, offering regular exhibitions of its members' works.