Fun Facts About the Louvre

Best known for being the home of the Mona Lisa, the Louvre is the second-largest art museum in the world. This iconic Parisian landmark originally opened its doors on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings and is now the most visited museum in the world with over 380,000 objects and 35,000 works of art.

The Louvre has existed for 8 centuries.

Getty Images / Moment / David Giral Photography

The original structure of the museum was built in the late 12th century. King Phillip August proclaimed Paris his new capital and built the Louvre Palace, which houses the museum, as a centralized building. Originally, he wanted the palace to be a fortress to protect Parisians against Viking attacks. In the 16th century, the Louvre was turned into a royal palace. Then in 1793, during the French Revolution, it officially became a museum with just over 500 works of art at the time.