April 26, 2010

The Louvre: From Impregnable Fortress to Palace & Museum

The Louvre is one of the most well known and important museums in the world but long before it attained such a status, it was a fortress built to protect the King and the inhabitants of Paris. The modern-day Louvre traces its architectural origins to the 12th century and was built by King Philippe Auguste. The medieval fortress included a thick cylindrical dungeon surrounded by towered walls.
Over the course of the centuries since it was first constructed, the Louvre has been transformed by events of French history as well as by the architects and decorators who have left their mark on it.
One of the things I like about this depiction of the Pavilion Denon is that it appears to be reminiscent of a haunted house. Who knows...perhaps it was influenced by the ghosts of the dungeon captives who are rumored to inhabit the Louvre, a belief which is held by some Parisians to this very day.

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