Sunday, April 10, 2011
Paris 2011 "Day 4" The Louvre
Watched some of the Paris Marathon
Started the day with a typical parisian breakfast on a sidewalk cafe'
During the forty-three-year reign of Philippe Auguste (1180–1223), the power and influence of the French monarchy grew considerably, both inside and outside the kingdom. In 1190, a rampart was built around Paris, which was Europe’s biggest city at the time. To protect the capital from the Anglo-Norman threat, the king decided to reinforce its defenses with a fortress, which came to be known as the Louvre. It was built to the west of the city, on the banks of the Seine.The reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV had a major impact on the Louvre and Tuileries palaces. The extension of the west wing of the Cour Carrée under Louis XIII marked the beginning of an ambitious program of work that would be completed by Louis XIV and added to by Louis XV, resulting in the Louvre that we see today. However, following the completion of Versailles, royal interest in the palace waned, plunging the Louvre into a new period of dormancy.
The demolition of the Tuileries in 1882 marked the birth of the modern Louvre. The palace ceased to be the seat of power and was devoted almost entirely to culture. Only the Finance Ministry, provisionally installed in the Richelieu wing after the Commune, remained. Slowly but surely, the museum began to take over the whole of the vast complex of buildings.