The Louvre: The World's Most Popular Museum
After two centuries as a royal palace, the Louvre was opened to the public as a museum by the French Revolutionary Government on 8 November 1793. With one of the richest displays of art and artefacts in the world, its collection spans 11,000 years of human achievement.
The building's history is synonymous with French history, with almost every monarch since King Francis I extending the Louvre, its grounds and its art holdings, the most major additions occuring in the reigns of King Louis XIII and XIV in the 17th century.
Expansion of the museum itself continued substantially in the 80s and 90s when new galleries were created. Controversially, the Louvre's notorious glass pyramid rose up in the central courtyard. It's unusual modern design angered traditionalists, but has become as iconic as its older building, loved by tourists and visitors to the most popular museum in the world.
What better way to mark this anniversary than with Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in full, the grand Promenade theme conjuring up the magnificence of the museum.