One cannot visit Paris and not visit the Louvre. Well, actually you can but one rarely does, so irresistible is the pull to visit the most famous museum in the world.
With over 8.8 million visitors per year, the Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world. At over 60,000 square meters (625,000 sq feet), the museum is a city unto itself. And with over 35,000 pieces on display, good luck trying to view all that the museum has to offer. Before visiting the Louvre, resign yourself to the fate that you will see only a tiny fraction of what is on display and consider that there are ten times as many pieces within the Louvre’s collection as there are on display (380,000).
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, a palatial residence first begun as a fortress in the 12th century and heavily expanded and modified over the next six centuries. It wasn’t until the late 1700s around the time of the French Revoultion that the palace was converted into an art museum to be enjoyed by everyone. It has since evolved into the second largest art museum in the world (after the Hermitage in St Petersberg) and is home to arguably the most famous works of art in the world, including the Mona Lisa, the Victory of Samothrace and the Venice du Milo, to name a few.