the Louvre - Famous Museum in the Heart of Paris
The Louvre is one of the most famous museums in the world. Situated in the heart of Paris along the Seine River, it presents its visitors with an impressive collection of art from all over the world. Almost 10 million people visit the Louvre every year. The museum has over a million pieces of art, but at the moment only 35,000 are on display, spread over an area of 60 000 square metres.
The Louvre was built as a fortress in the 12th century. As time went on it expanded, as some parts were rebuilt and new wings added. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Louvre served as the royal palace for French kings. It became an art museum when the French king Louis XVI moved his residence to Versailles. During the French Revolution, the Louvre became a public museum. New collections have been added ever since.
The most famous painting in the Louvre is Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The Renaissance painting is protected by bulletproof glass and flanked by museum guards. Other popular works of art include the Code of Hammurabi, the Venus of Milo and The Dying Slave by Michelangelo.
IN the 1980s, the Louvre was completely redesigned. A gigantic complex was built under the courtyard. In front of the Louvre, there is a glass pyramid, through which people enter the museum. It is in contrast to the baroque architecture of the museum itself.
The Louvre consists of three separate wings that span four floors. It is so huge that you simply cannot see everything in a single day. The museum offers many guided tours ranging from introductory tours that show the museum’s masterpieces to theme tours of a specific period of art.
Louvre Museum with courtyard and glass pyramid
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- bullet-proof = an object that is made to stop bullets from going in
- century = a hundred years
- complex = here: a series of rooms
- ever since = since then
- expand = to become bigger
- flank = on each side
- fortress = strong, large building used to defend a place from enemies
- guided tour = to show someone around a place and tell you the most important things about it
- huge = big
- impressive = if you admire something that is very large, beautiful or important
- in contrast to = compared to
- include = here: belong to the museum
- introductory = basic; here: it shows you the most important things
- masterpiece =the best pieces of art
- Mesopotamia = today’s Iraq around the Rivers Euphrates and Tigris; in ancient times the first cities were built here
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- range from … to … = here: there are collections from all periods of history
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- royal palace = place where the king or queen lives
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- wing = part of a large building