The Louvre, one of Paris‘ gems and the world’s largest museum, is a bucket list item for many around the world. In addition to being the world’s largest and most visited museum, it also comes with a history of its own dating back almost a thousand years. Here are seven interesting facts about The Louvre.
Interesting Facts About The Louvre
1. It Was Originally A Grand Fortress
The Louvre was originally built as a fortress in 1190 and was later reconstructed into a royal palace in the 16th century. You can tour the 800-year-old moat and fortress remains near the iconic Great Sphynx.
2. It Would Take 100 Days To See All Of The Art
Given that the Louvre is the world’s largest museum, it’s no wonder you’d need more than a day to see every piece. 100 days, actually. Assuming you spent only 30 seconds admiring each of the museum’s pieces, you’d need 100 days to spare. This is considering the fact that the Louvre houses over 380,000 pieces of art and displays ‘only’ 35,000.
3. Nazis Utilised The Louvre In WW2
During one of Paris’ darkest hours of Nazi occupation, the Louvre was used as a housing facility for all of the Nazi’s art. Pieces ranging from books, paintings and sculptures that were stolen by Nazis all over Europe filled the halls of the Louvre. Fortunately, Jacques Jaujard had secretly organised the removal of several thousand works in anticipation of the Nazi occupation.
4. Museé Napoleon
Emperor Napoleon had the Louvre renamed in his honour to Museé Napoleon. Selfish as it may sound, he expanded the collection by 5,000 pieces and hung the Mona Lisa in his own private bedroom. This would later be recognised as the first time the painting was ever hung. As fate would have it, though, after his demise, the 5,000 pieces were returned to their original owners and the name corrected.
5. The Ghost of Belphegor
Given that the Louvre has been around for over 800 years, it’s bound to be haunted. There are years, centuries even, worth of ghostly tales surrounding the Louvre. However, the museums most famous haunts are Belphegor, a mummy said to wander the halls, a roaming garden woman, and a curious ‘Jack the Skinner’ who was a butcher done wrong by the Royals.
6. It’s Located In The Centre Of Axe Historique
Axe Historique is a long stretch of historical monuments running through Paris. It includes Arc de Triomphe, the Obelisk, Tuileries Garden and of course, The Louvre.
7. It Houses Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Nike And More
It goes without saying that the Louvre is the world’s most important and beloved museum. Because of this, it’s home to some of the most important art pieces in the world from ancient Greece’s Venus de Milo to Liberty Guiding the People. In addition to these precious masterpieces, you’ll also find ‘the most famous painting in the world’ The Mona Lisa. The surprisingly small artwork comes with its own security guards, bulletproof glass and a long wait – but it’s worth it.