The Louvre, located in Paris, France, is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument.
More than 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 653,400 square feet. The Louvre is the first stop for many visitors to Paris.
Here are ten fun facts about The Louvre:
1. The Louvre was originally built as a fortress in 1190 by Philip II of France. It wasn’t until 1682 that Louis XIV transformed it into a royal palace and then opened it up to the public once a week. In 1793 during the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation’s masterpieces.
2. The Louvre’s galleries span over 15 Acres which is around 653,400 ft.
3. 66% of the paintings in the Louvre are works of French artists.
4. The Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci has been on display at the Louvre since 1797 and is one of the most popular attractions at the museum today.
5. In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte declared that all artwork confiscated by his armies during their conquests would be housed in the Louvre resulting in thousands of pieces being brought back to Paris including works from Italy and Egypt.
6. During World War II, Hitler ordered that several paintings from the collection be sent to Germany but fortunately they were intercepted en route and never made it to their destination.
7. The glass pyramid in front of the main entrance was designed by Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei and completed in 1989 after nearly 10 years of construction.
8. Over 14 million people visit the Louvre each year making it one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations and the most-visited art museum in the world.
9. You could spend 9 months inside without seeing everything – there are approximately 450 rooms open to visitors with more than 35,000 works on display.
10. Apart from the one in Paris, there is another Louvre museum. In 2016, Abu Dhabi finished constructing the second official Louvre museum in the world.