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Medieval Louvre

The Louvre was first created when King Philippe Augustus began to build a fortress on the site in 1180, to protect the city of Paris from English and Norman attacks.

During his departure for the crusades with his army, Paris was vulnerable and unprotected. The king ordered the creation of a wall for the whole city and the Louvre as a bastion. Then it was used as a prison, a war arsenal and even a treasury. In the 14th century, its military function was no longer necessary and Carlos V transformed it into a royal residence.

During the Hundred Years War, (1337-1453), the kings gradually abandoned Paris for the Loire Valley which was safer and the Louvre fell into ruin. What we see today was submerged and forgotten, but was rediscovered in the 1980s, during the excavation in preparation for the 'Grand Louvre' project, ordered by French President François Mitterand.

At that time the external pyramid was created as a new entrance and created this showroom to show the true origins of this museum. Leoh Ming Pei was the architect who worked on this project.

The origin of the name is unknown. There are two theories: It may come from the Latin "lupara" which means wolf because wolves lived here in the past or it is a deformation of old French "lower" which means tower after its origin as a defence of the city.