A stronghold was built in 1190 during the reign of Philip II Augustus. Subsequently turned into a royal residence by the decree of Charles V de Valois, the stronghold was torn down centuries later, in 1528, and a beautiful palace was built in its place. King Francis I brought Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece, La Joconde, to decorate the Louvre palace.
Every other king settling in the Louvre remodelled and added new structures to the palace. After the royal residence had been moved into Versailles by King Louis XIV, Le Louvre became the repository of art valuables; the academy of fine arts moved in. In 1793 the Louvre museum was opened. The most active contributor to the collection was Napoleon I, who accepted war indemnity from his defeated enemies in the form of artworks.
Le Louvre has been renovated in the recent times. The architect Ieoh Ming Pei added the easily recognizable pyramid as the main entrance to the museum. The pyramid is now known as the Louvre Pyramid, and it is the starting point of a magnificent view of Paris: from Le Louvre, through the Napoleonic Arc de Carrousel, along the Tuileries garden and the Champs Г‰lysГ©es, through the Arc de Triomphe and finishing near La Grande Arche de la DГ©fense.