Though it’s now known for its renowned art collection, the louvre began its life as a fortress in the 12th century designed to protect what was then the western edge of paris. Built by philip ii, the medieval fortress featured a 98-foot tall keep and a moat.
What Did the Louvre Used to Be?
The Louvre was originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century by Philip II of France. It was converted into a royal residence in the 14th century under Charles V.
In the 16th century, Francis I transformed it into the first modern museum in Europe. The museum was closed during the French Revolution but reopened in 1803 by Napoleon Bonaparte.
Under Napoleon, the Louvre became one of the largest and most important museums in the world. He added many works of art to the collection, including the famous Mona Lisa.
Napoleon also had the museum expanded and renovated. After Napoleon was defeated in 1815, the Louvre was once again closed to the public. It reopened in 1826 and has been open ever since.
The Louvre is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It is home to over 35,000 works of art, making it one of the largest museums in the world.