Built on the city's western edge, the original Louvre structure was gradually engulfed as the city grew. The dark fortress of the early days was transformed into the modernized dwelling of François I and, later, the sumptuous palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Today it is home to the most well-known art collection in the world.
From the outset, the Louvre has embodied the concept of a truly "universal" institution. Universal in the scope of its collections, it is also universal in its appeal to some six million visitors every year: a 21st-century museum rooted in 200 years of innovation.