Musée du Louvre (aka the Louvre Museum), one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, is a remarkable structure that houses some of the most important and influential works of art in European history. This article provides a brief introduction to the Louvre’s history, as well as a few highlights and explanations of its many features and functions.
Before it became an art museum, what exactly was the Louvre known for? When exactly did construction begin on the Louvre? Where can I find France’s largest museum? Where exactly is the Louvre situated? Could it be said that the Louvre is the world’s largest museum? If you want to know the answers to these and other questions, keep reading!
Best 10 interesting facts about the Louvre Museum
- There is no other art museum in the world that attracts as many people as the Louvre.
- The Louvre was originally a fortress.
- After its theft in 1911, the Mona Lisa quickly gained fame.
- Over two-thirds (66%) of the museum’s paintings are created by French artists.
- There are actually two Louvres in the world!
- Louvre was vacated During World War II.
- Over 15 acres are devoted to exhibiting space at the Louvre, making it the largest art museum in the world.
- For a period of 11 years, the Louvre carried Napolean’s name.
- The Louvre is Supposed to Be Haunted, According to Some people!
- The Louvre Is Actually Home to Five Pyramids!
There is no other art museum in the world that attracts as many people as the Louvre.
The National Museum of China, the Tate Modern in London, and the Vatican Museums all rank below the Louvre in terms of the number of visitors. When it passed the 10-million-visitor threshold in 2018, it became the most popular museum in the world.
Obviously, the Covid-19 outbreak that closed the Louvre for 150 days in 2020 had an impact on the museum’s visiting numbers. Compared to 2019, the year saw a 72% decline in Louvre visitors. Despite this, the Louvre is visited by over 15,000 people every day, making it the most popular and visited museum in the world.
The Louvre was originally a fortress.
Originally built as a fortress by French King Phillip II in 1190, the Louvre has been a part of the city’s defenses ever since. After construction on the fort was finished in 1202, King Charles V of France made the Louvre his official home in the 14th century. The Louvre Museum was established during the French Revolution, a time of widespread violence and upheaval.
In the wake of Louis XVI’s imprisonment, the royal collection was taken by the government. Louvre Museum first opened to the public in 1793 under the name Muséum central des arts de la République. There were 537 paintings and 184 other works of art in the museum’s collection at the time.
After its theft in 1911, the Mona Lisa quickly gained fame.
Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian handyman, stole the artwork from the Louvre on August 21st, 1911. At that moment, the artwork, which had not yet attracted millions of viewers, shot to the center of everyone’s attention. The artwork became widely recognized when it was featured in publications throughout the world. She had no idea how famous the Mona Lisa was becoming for the first two years of her life.
Before glazier sought to sell the artwork to an Italian art dealer and the dealer tipped off the police, everyone from the artist Pablo Picasso on down was a suspect. The Mona Lisa was found, and by the time she got back to France, she was already a global icon.
Over two-thirds (66%) of the museum’s paintings are created by French artists.
The Louvre’s collection of artworks consists largely of paintings. According to the latest counts, the museum’s famous art gallery features over 7,500 individual works by painters from all around the world.
There are eight different sections where the artwork may be seen. Plus, more than two-thirds of these masterpieces were created by French painters.
There are actually two Louvres in the world!
You may visit another Louvre Museum outside of Paris. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the world’s second official Louvre museum, opened to the public in 2016. The Louvre is the second-largest museum on the Arabian peninsula. Abu Dhabi spent about €600 million to complete the museum’s construction. Currently, the museum receives around one million visitors annually, which is obviously a fraction of the number of people that visit the Louvre in Paris.
Louvre was vacated During World War II.
Hitler’s forces launched a systematic looting of artworks from museums and private collections as soon as the conquests began. Jacques Jaujard, the French National Museums’ assistant director, felt the necessity to secure the Louvre. The artworks, including 3,690 paintings, sculptures, and other pieces of art, were ordered to be packed up and moved to safe locations ten days before the war was declared. The hazards were high, yet Jaujard was able to complete the herculean task.
A total of 200 vehicles hauled roughly 1,900 cartons containing Louvre artifacts between August and December of 1939. There was a curator for each individual track. Forty museums were completely or partially destroyed or damaged during the German invasion of France. When the Nazis finally made it to the Louvre, they found empty frames waiting for them!
Over 15 acres are devoted to exhibiting space at the Louvre, making it the largest art museum in the world.
The Louvre is the world’s biggest art museum and draws the most visitors of any institution of its kind. The Louvre was first established in 1190 as a fortification and then remodeled in the 16th century to become a royal residence.
The Louvre expanded greatly throughout its use as a royal palace. The current museum space at the Louvre is approximately 652,300 square feet in size (60,600 square meters). That makes sense, as it would need a lot of space to store its 480,000 works of art.
For a period of 11 years, the Louvre carried Napolean’s name.
The Louvre changed its name to Musée Napoléon in 1803, and it stayed that way until 1814. Napoleon III’s ambitious building program served as the reason for the name change. His victories resulted in a dramatic growth of the Louvre’s collection, necessitating new exhibition halls. When Napoleon finally gave up the throne in 1815, approximately 5,000 artworks were returned to their home countries. Veronese’s “The Wedding at Cana” is one of the most significant stolen paintings that is still on display at the Louvre.
The Louvre is Supposed to Be Haunted, According to Some people!
Nearly 800 years have passed since the Louvre’s construction, so it’s not unexpected that some visitors report feeling scared there. The museum is reportedly haunted by three friendly ghosts. Jean l’Ecorcheur, a butcher also known as “Jack the Skinner,” is the most well-known ghost.
Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, had him killed because she was concerned he knew too much dirty laundry about the royal family. He is still known as the Red Man of the Tuileries Gardens because of his penchant for wearing a bright red suit. Belphegor, a mummy, is rumored to also haunt the museum’s hallways.
The Louvre Is Actually Home to Five Pyramids!
Not many people know that the famous I. M. Pei Pyramid isn’t the only pyramid on display at the Louvre. The Louvre is home to not one but five pyramids. The three smaller glass pyramids that flank the larger I.M. Pei pyramid are examples. All three of them have been strategically placed to cast rays of light upon the museum’s exhibits. The Louvre Pyramide inversée (inverted pyramid) may be seen in the Carrousel du Louvre and is the sixth pyramid on our list.