The Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which houses the museum was begun as a fortress by Philip II in the 12th century, with remnants of this building still visible in the crypt. Whether this was the first building on that spot is not known, but it is possible that Philip modified an existing tower. Although some believe that the word 'louvre' may refer to the structure's status as the largest in late 12th century Paris (from the French L'Œuvre, masterpiece) – or to its location in a forest (from the French rouvre, oak) – one finds in the authoritative Larousse that it derives from an association with wolf hunting den (via Latin: lupus, lower Empire: lupara). In the VIIth century, St. Fare, an abbess in Meaux, left part of her "Villa called Luvra situated in the region of Paris" to a monastery; this territory probably did not correspond exactly to the modern site, however.
The Louvre Palace was altered frequently throughout the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building into a residence and in 1546, Francis I (François 1er ) renovated the site in French Renaissance style. Francis acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvre's holdings, his acquisitions including Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. After Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682, constructions slowed; however, the move permitted the Louvre to be used as a residence for artists.[
Please login or register.