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Medieval Louvre

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ABOVE: Foundation walls line an empty moat beneath the Louvre Museum.

The Louvre Museum has been a "Grand Gallery" since 1793. But long before it became a public museum, the Louvre was a fortress dating back to the reign of Philippe Auguste, the French king who paved the streets and built the walls of Paris.

Thanks to archaeological excavations in the mid-1980s, a "Medieval Louvre" exhibition beneath the Louvre Museum's Coeur Carré courtyard now lets visitors explore the ruins of the castle that existed from 1190 AD until the early 16th Century, when the keep was torn down to make way for the Renaissance palace that survives as the Musée du Louvre.

The Medieval Louvre is on the lower level of the museum's Sully Wing, and admission to the exhibit is included in the Louvre ticket price. For more information, see the the History of the Louvre pages at the museum's Web site. And for more photos of the ruins, click the link below:

Next page: Medieval Louvre photos



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