Originally a fortress built in the 12th century by Philip Augustus, King of France, it was demolished in 1527 to make way for a Renaissance style residence. It fell into disuse following the completion of the Palace of Versailles. The Louvre opened its doors on August 10, 1793 with an exhibit of more than 500 paintings.
I was completely unprepared for the enormity of the place! Ongoing construction meant detouring up and back down a level in several places. I managed to get lost more than once!
Among the most famous of the 35,000 pieces of art (from a collection of more than 380,000) is the Mona Lisa that was actually much smaller than I expected!