Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Louvre - Paris

One of the largest and most visited museums in the world, and possibly the most famous of them all. Louvre is one of Paris's must-visit place. The Louvre was built in several stages. It was first built in the 16th century. The name of the main architect was Pierre Lescot. The immense building had 2 courtyards and was 2 stories high. Its architecture combines French and Italian features. About a decade later, Catherine de Medici started with another palace project, the Tuileries on the west side of the Louvre. Later, during the second empire, between 1853 and 1857, the Louvre was massively extended by Visconti and Lefuel.

The latest addition to the Louvre was the glass pyramid entrance, one of the finest examples of a combination of mordern and historic architecture.
The last buildings of the palace were built in the second half of the 19th century. It is only in 1989 that an important addition to the Louvre has been completed – a 70 x 70 meters big, underground reception hall for the visitors of the museum, lit with the natural coming from the glass pyramid built on its roof.
Designed by American Chinese architect Ieoh Ming Pei, the pyramid has a square base with each side 35 meters long. It is covered by almost 700 glass panes and the whole mythology has been created around their exact number (678 according to some people, 666 according to the others), as having a special meaning, or a magic power.

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