The île de la Cité
The Palais de Justice, the Sainte Chapelle, and the Conciergerie
The Cathédrale Notre Dame
The Panthéon and the Quartier Latin
The St. Etienne du Mont Church
The Palais and the Jardin du Luxembourg
The Tour Montparnasse
The St. Germain des Prés Church
The Hôtel and the museum of Cluny
The St. Séverin Church
The St. Julien Le Pauvre Church
The Pont Neuf
The Hôtel de la Monnaie and the Palais de L'Institut
The Palais Bourbon
The Hôtel des Invalides
The Ecole Militaire
The Unesco Palace
The Tour Eiffel
The Arc de Triomphe
The Place de la Concorde
The Madeleine Church
The Théatre de l'Opéra
The Colonne Vendôme
The Théatre Français
The Palais Royal
The Palais du Louvre
The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
The St. Germain l'Auxerrois Church
The Tour St. Jacques
The Hôtel de Ville
The Marais
The Palais de Chaillot
Montmartre and the
Basilique du Sacré Coeur
The Palais du Louvre

The immense and harmonious Palais du Louvre is behind the Jardin des Tuileries. The first stronghold was built in 1200, by Philippe-Auguste. In 1527, Francois 1st ordored important changes; the protective walls and the keep of the castle were pulled down.

In the same year Pierre Lescot architect, started building a new palace on the same spot; sculptures were entrusted to Jean Goujon; when Lescot died, the new Palace was not yet complete. It grew up slowly under Henri ll and Henri lll, and when Louis XIV come to the Throne, the old Louvre still had two gothic facades and two Renaissance ones. Louis Xlll decided that the Vieux Louvre should be enlarged, and in 1624 he instructed Le Mercier to erect the Pavillon de l'Horloge.

Under Louis XIV, Le Vau, Le Brun and Perrault undertook vast improvements; Perrault had a grandiose idea, thought out a totally new style, and built the « Colonnade ». Work stopped in 1680, when Court adjourned to Versailles; the Louvre, abandoned, was invaded by all manner of tenants, who did nothing but disfigure it. Napoléon drove out intruders and started new improvements. The facades and the Cour Carrée (quadrangle), were completed by Percier and Fontaine. Decorations were carried out and the Palace furnished. The Place du Carrousel was widened and the Arc de Triomphe erected, the Galerie du Nord (north wing) was begun.

The Palace was finaly completed by Napoléon lll, with the help of Lefuel, his architect. In 1871, during the days of the Commune, the Tuileries, abode of the Imperial Family, was burnt down; part of the Louvre caught fire. Under the lllrd Republic, Lefuel rebuilt those parts of the Louvre that had been damaged by fire; the Republic had decided not to rebuild the Palais des Tuileries.

From an architectural standpoint, the Cour Carrée is the most interesting part of the Louvre; the Renaissance facade designed by Lescot is a masterpiece of graceful harmony. The sculptures of Jean Goujon are delighful. The Pavillon de l'Horloge, built in the classical style by Le Mercier 750 years later matches the Renaissance facade very well. Though extremely beautiful, the three other façades have lost the graceful Renaissance features to the more solemn classical style.

It has often been said that the Colonnade which leads out to the Place du Louvre, in spite of its splendeur and beauty, is out of tune with the rest of the building. The majestic classical facade designed by Perrault overlooks the Quai du Louvre, and is connected to the Galerie du Bord de l'Eau (waterside gallery) by a beatiful sober building with the famous Galerie d'Apollon .

 

 
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