The Louvre is one of the largest and most famous museums in the world.? Originally the Louvre was the home of the Kings and Queens of France until the 1400?s when Louis the 14th decided that the palace was not big enough, and moved the estate to Versailles.? The Kings and Queens still used the Louvre to house their artwork and for a place to stay if they visited Paris.? During the French Revolution in 1789, the Louvre was stormed by the French public when they found out that Louis the 16th and Marie Antoinette were hiding inside.? After the revolution, the people of France opened the Louvre up to the public? as the first state museum in Paris.? When it first opened only 650 pieces were housed here, now there are over 400 000 (with only a small percent actually exhibited).? If you were to spend one minute looking at each piece in the Louvre, it would take you over 9 months.? In 1980 the Louvre underwent an aggressive renovation and expansion.? The glass pyramid in the middle of the square was designed to resolve access problems, and was designed by the famous American Architect I.M. Pei. Most of the art in the Louvre is pre 1500?s, so it is mostly religious art, and a lot of it looks very similar unless you are an art genius.? The 4 things I suggest seeing that are well worth it are: The Mona Lisa:? No, she is not famous because of her eyes or because she is a believed self-portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci, she is famous because of the art technique used.? Leonardo Da Vinci created a new painting technique where he heated up the canvas and the paint before painting.? It was called the smoke technique and was the first of its kind.? If you look very closely at the painting (which is behind glass) you will find it very difficult to see any paint strokes.? That is why she became so famous.? It was originally commissioned to be placed in the bathroom of French Royalty, but Da Vinci loved it so much he carried it around with him for a number of years, and it was said to be his favorite piece.? In 1911 it was stolen from the Louvre by an Italian waiter, who hid it under his bed for 2 years.? During its absence there were 6 forged copies created, which made a great profit for the forger Yves Chaudron. Others to see: -Venus De Milo ? she is a Greek statue staid to be dated back to approx. 100 BC -The Crown Jewels – very extravagant and practically priceless. -Napoleon the 3rd Apartments.? This is Napoleons nephew, and the apartments are not where he lived, but where he housed his offices.? It is like stepping back in time -? very cool! For more information on trips to France, we suggest you check out TraAddict’s options with G Adventures, and Intrepid Travel.