At the end of a long day that included – the Musée de l’Orangerie, Sainte-Chapelle, L’As du Fallafel, Dôme des Invalides, Musée de l’Ordre de la Libération, Musée Rodin and Tour Eiffel we ran into the Musée du Louvre. It was the last day of our museum pass and we were determined to maximize it. I’d venture a guess that we did as well as anyone could. CaraDMc planned a great trip and on this tight schedule, we had just enough time to run in and see one of the most famous residents of the Louvre – Mona Lisa.

The museum is amazing and on a return trip, I would like to spend more time touring the halls below the massive glass pyramids. As it was we had just over an hour to run in find our goal and then spend a little time wondering. The building was as beautiful as the artwork and it created an environment that you really didn’t want to leave. Despite being unbelievably tired and sleep-deprived. Next trip – more from here.

The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to the urban expansion of the city, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function and, in 1546, was converted by Francis I into the main residence of the French Kings. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation’s masterpieces.