The Louvre, in its successive architectural metamorphoses, has dominated central Paris since the late 12th century. Built on the city’s western edge, the original structure was gradually engulfed as the city grew. The dark fortress of the early days was transformed into the modernized dwelling of François I and, later, the sumptuous palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Here we explore the history of this extraordinary edifice and of the museum that has occupied it since 1793.
In 1996, the French president, Jacques Chirac, announced the creation of a national museum of tribal and aboriginal art. In addition, selected masterpieces from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas were to be shown at the Louvre. These were installed on the ground floor of the former Pavillon des Sessions, in galleries refurbished by the architect J. M. Wilmotte. Inaugurated in April 2000, these galleries are a satellite of the future Musée du Quai Branly, scheduled to open in 2006.
From its beginnings as a royal fortress to the public institution we see today, discover the Musée du Louvre: its role, its aims, and the expertise of the people who make it work.
The Louvre is open every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Night opening until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays
Closed on the following holidays: January 1, May 1, December 25
Musée du Louvre
Telephone: +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17
Getting to the Louvre:
Métro: Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre station.
Bus: The following bus lines stop in front of the Pyramid: 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95, and the Paris Open Tour bus.
Car: An underground parking garage is available for those coming by car. The entrance is located on avenue du Général Lemonnier. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Batobus: Get off at the Louvre stop, quai François Mitterrand.
From Orly Airport: Take the RER C train, direction Champs de Mars-Tour Eiffel, and get off at Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame. Walk to the place Saint-Michel and take bus no. 27, direction Saint-Lazare. Get off at the Louvre, in front of the Pyramid.
From Charles de Gaulle Airport: Take the RER B train, direction Massy-Palaiseau, and change at Châtelet-les-Halles to line 14, direction Saint-Lazare. Get off at Pyramides station and walk to the Louvre from there (3 minutes). Alternatively, take Métro line 1 at Châtelet-les-Halles, and get off at Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre.
A visit to the Louvre Museum (Video)
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