LOUVRE, the name of a celebrated public building of Paris, situated in the N. part of the city, near the right bank of the Seine. It was originally a hunt ing lodge, and later a castle, begun about 1204. Charles V. (1364-1380) added some embellishments to it, and brought thither his library and his treasury; and Fran cis, in 1528, erected that part of the palace which is now known as the gallery of Apollo. Henry IV. laid the foundation of the gallery which connects the Louvre on the S. side with the Tuileries. Louis XIII. erected the center; and Louis XIV., according to the plan of the physician Perrault, the elegant facade toward the E., together with the colonnade of the Louvre. When the great number of works of art seized in Italy by the armies of Napoleon made it necessary to assign a proper place for their reception, the architect Raimond was selected to con duct the work. After the Restoration the work was again brought to a stand still; and nothing was done till after the revolution of 1848. A resolution having been passed by the provisional govern ment in favor of the completion of the whole building, the foundation-stone of the new Louvre was laid July 25, 1852, and the work completed in 1857, at a cost of nearly 6,000,000 francs.
The Louvre now consists of two parts —the old and new Louvre. The former
is nearly a square, 576 feet long and 538 wide, and inclosing a quadrangle of about 400 feet square; its E. facade, looking toward the church of St. Ger main l'Auxerrois, is a colonnade of 28 Corinthian columns, and one of the finest works of architecture of any age or country. The new Louvre consists of two vast lateral piles of buildings, pro jecting at right angles from the two parallel galleries, which formerly joined the old Louvre with the Tuileries and formed the E. boundary of the Place du Carrousel. Turning into the Place Napoleon III. they present on each side a frontage of 590 feet, intersected by three sumptuous pavilions intended to accommodate the minister of state, the minister of the interior, and the library of the Louvre. Some of the galleries on the upper stories are set apart for permanent and annual exhibitions of works of art. The total space covered or inclosed by the Louvre is nearly 60 acres. During the World War the chief art treasures were removed from the Louvre and concealed, and elaborate precautions were taken to prevent its injury or destruction by German air raiders.