Okay, we'll make it out of the Louvre with this post, I promise! The only other topics I may have with this many posts may be Pompeii and Herculaneum - the rest should be one or two posters. While wandering around the Mesopotamia area, several sections were blocked off, leading us down a stairway where we found ourselves in the Medieval Louvre.
Never having looked into this more, we were surprised to find out that, prior to the current buildings, the site had been home to a castle, the replica is shown to the right. The first mention of Castle of the Louvre was in an 1198 charter. The structure consisted of a rectangular enclosure wall with towers and two strong gates. It was isolated using a moat.
Here is a painting done sometime between 1412 and 1416 of Castle of the Louvre. It was a magnificent building that Charles V remodeled into a series of highly decorated apartments. It's a shame it did not survive - perhaps it had construction defects and the builder had went bankrupt. I crack myself up!
Beginning with the kings Francois I and Henri II, the castle was slowly demolished in order to build a Renaissance palace. This drawing shows the configuration as of 1615 during the Renaissance.
In 1984, excavations unearthed the castle keep, walls, and moat. These medieval constructs can be toured and are very exciting to view - it doesn't take long, but is worth a short trip into the basement of the Louvre.
Here is a placecard they have along the journey - it outlines what part of the excavations you will be viewing. The earliest part of the palace was started in 1535. Louis XIII (1610-1643) completed the Denon Wing and the Richelieu Wing. The Richelieu Wing was the first to be opened to the public as a museum on November 8, 1793.
And finally, we exited the Louvre and made our way down Rue de Rivoli. The photo to the left is standing at the corner of Rue de Rivoli and Rue Royal, looking north up Rue Royal. Notice the light sprinkles that began when we exited the Louvre had stopped.
...and we made it out of the Louvre!!! Next, we'll show you our second favorite thing to see in Paris.