The Louvre in Paris is, literally, a palace of art. For more than two centuries, this former castle of the Kings of France has contained one of the greatest and most famous art museums in the world.
The origins of the Louvre date back to the 13th century. Originally, the building resembled a simple fortress until King Carl The Fifth made the building his personal residence. In 1546 the French architect Pierre Lescot received an order from King Franz The First to build a brand new Renaissance palace.
King Franz The First was also responsible for the fact that a certain Andrea Del Sarto purchased the first art collection for the monarch while visiting Italy. Thus, masterpieces such as Leonardo Da Vinci's world famous painting, the Mona Lisa, became the property of the French King.
One of the most famous and treasured paintings in the Louvre is the perfectly formed statue of Aphrodite, better known as the Venus De Milo. In addition to various collections from the Oriental, Greek, Roman and Etruscan periods, the Egyptian section is particularly impressive.
Each year, 6 million visitors pour into the former royal residence of the Louvre, majestic home to much of the world’s most treasured works of art.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.