With over 35,000 objects, including Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Louvre is the largest museum in the world and a historical monument.
The Louvre, in its successive architectural metamorphoses, has dominated central Paris since the late 12th-Century. Built on the city's western edge, the original structure was gradually engulfed as the city grew. The dark fortress of the early days was transformed into the modernized dwelling of François I and, later, the sumptuous palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV.
Up to 35,000 objects from pre-history to the 21st-Century are exhibited there. With more than 10 million visitors each year, it is the world's most visited museum.
Queues are certain for permanent collections and temporary exhibitions alike, especially at the weekend.