The palace has a long and glorious history. The Louvre was built in XIII century and since then it was continuously rebuilt and extended. It was made the royal residence only in 1546 when Francis I finally moved there with his family. Now it is most famous art museum.
The old square building was gradually added by new courts, such as Cours Carrée, Cours Napoleon, Cours Sully, Cours Richelieu, and Cours Denon. In XVII century there was built Palace de Tuileries, but it hasn’t survived until today. There remained only Jardin de Tuileries.
As to the size and value of its art collection, the Louvre is probably the most significant museum in the world. And it was just Francis I who laid the foundation of the collection. He invited to France the artist Leonardo da Vinci. There are several masterpieces of this painter in the Louvre, including the famous Mona Lisa.
In XIX century the Louvre`s collection was added by artifacts of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia (Assyria and Babylon) and other states of the Middle East, which was then actively gathered by French «collectors of antiquities».
The most famous exhibits of the Louvre are sculptures of Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, and Egyptian Sitting Scribe, as well as canvases of Leonardo da Vinci.