Pavillon de l'Horloge at the Louvre
Pavillon de l'Horloge at the Louvre. © musée du Louvre, dist. RMN-Grand Palais/ Olivier Ouadah

A visit to the Louvre is fascinating not only for its massive collection but also for the history of the building itself. The new Pavillon de l’Horloge (the Clock Pavilion) has opened its doors this year to make the museum more welcoming and easier to understand. What traces can still be seen from the major periods of construction? Which kings actually lived there? Why did the Louvre become a museum? How were the Egyptian sculptures acquired?

Pavillon de l'horloge, Louvre
Pavillon de l’horloge. View of the salle St Louis. (c) 2016 musée du Louvre _Thierry Ollivier

An interesting exhibit in three levels in the Sully wing takes visitors through the transformation of the palace. Interactive models, digital displays with archived documents, films and artworks from the Louvre collections help tell the story.

Start with the medieval moat and the rich story of the fortress, the Salle de la Chapelle, before discovering the varied and rich collections of the museum, culminating in the contemporary Louvre with its current projects and missions, as well as its satellite locations in Lens and Abu Dhabi, and its central role in an extensive network of museums in France.

From France Today magazine