The present-day Louvre Palace is a vast complex of wings and pavilions on four main levels which, although it looks to be unified, is the result of many phases of building, modification, destruction and restoration. The Palace is situated in the right-bank of the?River Seine?between?Rue de Rivoli?to the north and the?Quai Fran?ois Mitterrand?to the south. To the west is the?Jardin des Tuileries?and, to the east, the?Rue de l’Amiral de Coligney?(its mostarchitecturally famous fa?ade, created by?Claude Perrault) and the?Place du Louvre. The complex occupies about 40?hectares?and forms two main?quadrilateralswhich enclose two large courtyards: the?Cour Carr?e?(“Square Courtyard”), completed under?Napoleon I, and the larger?Cour Napoleon?(“Napoleon Courtyard”) with the?Cour du Carrousel?to its west, built under?Napoleon III. TheCour Napoleon?and?Cour du Carrousel?are separated by the street known as the?Place du Carrousel.

The Louvre complex may be divided into the “Old Louvre”: the medieval and Renaissance pavilions and wings surrounding the?Cour Carr?e, as well as the?Grande Galerie?extending west along the bank of the Seine; and the “New Louvre”: those 19th Century pavilions and wings extending along the north and south sides of the?Cour Napoleon?along with their extensions to the west (north and south of the?Cour du Carrousel) which were originally part of the long-gone?Palais des Tuileries?(Tuileries Palace).

Some 51,615 sq m (555,000 sq ft) in the palace complex are devoted to public exhibition floor space. The complex is so vast that one could visit every day for a week and still not be able to give more than a cursory look to each of the exhibits.


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