About the Louvre

Architecte © I.M. Pei / Musée du Louvre


A visit to the Louvre and its collections lets visitors discover Western art from the Middle Ages to 1848, as well as a large number of ancient civilizations, yet it also offers another history to explore. The grand palace that houses the museum, which dates back to the late twelfth century, is a true lesson in architecture: from 1200 to 2011, the most innovative architects have in turn built and developed the Louvre. Long the seat of power, this royal residence was also home to French heads of state until 1870 and is one of the major backdrops to the history of Paris and of France.

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© musée du Louvre-Lens - Frédéric Iovino
©SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa


This museum of glass and light, set deftly atop a former mine works in Lens is not simply an annex of the Louvre, it is the Louvre itself. It offers new possibilities to visitors, such as going behind the scenes to find out about all of the facets and professions of a museum, observing the restoration of artworks in progress, visiting the storage areas, and learning about the guiding principles of conservation and museography.

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Louvre Abu Dhabi’s exterior © Louvre Abu Dhabi, Photography: Mohamed Somji
© TDIC, AJN, Artefactory, Louvre Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

Through an intergovernmental agreement signed on March 6, 2007, France and the United Arab Emirates decided to create Louvre Abu Dhabi, a singular museum, designed by Jean Nouvel, which brings together the dynamism of Abu Dhabi and the values of excellence embodied by the Louvre name.

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Online Resources


Database of works on display in the Louvre Atlas, the Louvre’s online collections database, provides access to the 35,000 works of art on display in the galleries. Via Atlas, visitors can learn more about these works and get directions to their locations in the museum. Photographs of each work are also available online. The English version of Atlas was made possible by American Friends of the Louvre.

La Fayette: Database of American Art

This bilingual online catalogue presents more than 1,700 works produced by United States artists before 1940 that entered the national collections of France. It includes works of art in all media except prints and photography. These artworks have been drawn from public collections all over France. The title, artist, medium, dimensions, inventory number, history, bibliography and exhibition history of each piece have been documented. All artworks that it was feasible to reproduce under current copyright regulations are available online. All records include photos of the museum or institution where artworks are conserved, as well as links to these institutions’ websites. The catalogue also presents a range of supplementary materials, including a French bibliography, a selection of significant works, a timeline and a range of biographical and historical information.

Audio Guides and Apps: The Louvre high-tech!

Download or rent an Audio Guide and choose your visit!

Explore the Louvre on your own, guided by the museum’s experts. Listen to informative commentary by curators and lecturers as they share their passion for the Louvre palace and its treasures.

Discover the Louvre’s new Audio Guide on Nintendo 3DS ™ XL, and visit the Louvre in high-definition 3D!

If you’d rather use your own smartphone and keep a souvenir of your trip to the Louvre, you can download our applications and create your very own, made-to-measure tour.


Events at the Auditorium complement and extend the visitor’s experience at the Louvre. The varied programs range from lectures and symposia on archaeology, art history and museum studies to readings, film screenings and concerts.