What's a trip to Paris without stopping in at the Louvre! It seems whenever I go I am extremely short of time and this is not a place to want to skip over things. The original structure was built in the 12th century. This was the main point of my visit and I went down to the lower levels to the Medieval Louvre where you can find the remains of the moats that were dug by Philip Augustus and Charles V in the 14th century. Originally the Louvre was built as a fortress to help the city defend itself against the Anglo-Normans. The Salle Basse or "Lower Hall" is all that remains of the medieval interior of the Louvre. Vaulting and columns are still present that date from 1230 to 1240.
In 1364 it began to change into a royal residence rather than fortress. In 1527 the Grosse Tour which was the medieval keep was demolished and it soon transformed into a Renaissance Palace. Later Louis the XIV would create a palace 500 meters away (Tuileries Palace) and the Grande Galerie would later connect the two buildings.
Also on my visit I strolled the halls and spent some time looking at Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa and tried to get a few good photographs (nearly impossible with the numbers of people crowding these two items). Wandering through the less crowded rooms was a lot more relaxing and enjoyable. Outside the crowds all sat with their feet in the fountain trying to cool off, I took the chance to take more pictures of the pyramid and outside building.
(Image available at http://www.personal.psu.edu/)