So much stories to tell about the Louvre! Just imagine the vast and dark corridors, full of the courtiers' murmur, rooms overran with court...
Our story begins in the reign of king Philip Augustus, when Paris became the capital city. The city extended so quickly! So the king decided to raise a wall from 1190, when he left for the Crusades. This wall was flanked by a fortress, near the river, in order to protect the city against invaders coming from the water: hey, the Louvre was born!
In the 15th century, kings neglected the Louvre: yes, they loved much more their castles in the Loire valley! François I demolished the old medieval tower raised by Philip Augustus. He asked his favourite architect Pierre Lescot to add a new wing to the medieval wall. King Henri II completed the construction and built a new wing and a building, the "King's detached house", which housed his apartments, overlooking the river Seine.
After the king Henri died, his widow Catherine of Medici raised the Tuileries palace. His son Charles IX started new building works: he linked the King's detached house to the Seine with a gallery, interconnecting by a small passage with the Tuileries palace. Then, king Henri IV transformed the Louvre into a true royal city! His architects Androuet du Cerceau and Métezeau raised the Grande galerie between the Louvre and the Tuileries.
The Louvre stayed incomplete in the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV. The royal collections, which was housed here since the 18th century, was opened to the public: the creation of the current museum!