Maps, The Louvre and Palais Royal

The Salle des Cariatides

Built by architect Pierre Lescot in the 16th century for King Francois I (finished under King Henry II), the Salle des Cariatides is one of the oldest areas of the Louvre and a solid example of Renaissance architecture.

The Salle des Caryatides is on the ground floor to the right

Originally conceived to serve as a tribunal as well as the ball room, sculptor Jean Goujon was hired to deck it out. Instead of beer pong tables and neon Budweiser signs, Jean sculpted four statuesque carytides that served not only as giant sexy focal points, but to also support 5-10 musicians who would play above the crowd like a 16th center surround sound Bosé speaker system.

Like an Architectural Mullet, he made a point to physically separate the party side from the justice side with three steps that are no longer present.
Given the important role to serve both the court of law and Friday Night Fever, this space was the heart of the Louvre Palace.

The room changed roles over the years, acting as both a marriage hall for a pre-King Henry IV when he married the daughter of King Henry II in 1572 and then his funeral parlors when he got shanked by François Ravaillac in 1610.

When Henry IV got hitched to Marguerite de Valois

This was also where the Le Toucher des Ecrouelles ceremony would take place, when the king would use his divine touch to poke at whatever diseased person was presented to him, make the sign of the cross, and proclaim “The King touches you! God heals you! Where’s my hand sanitiser?”

But my most favorite relevation of this room is actually underneath it. During renovation work here in 1882, remains of a room from the original Louvre fortress were found and integrated into the museum, which you can visit.

Today this room is home to a few famous Greek Gods, Goddesses, and Mythological heros including the iconic 1st century AD Artemis with a Doe.
Also known as Diana of Versailles, this Roman Goddess once graced the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles before being moved to the Louvre in 1798.

Fun Fact- A miniature replica of this statue was in the first class lounge of the Titanic. In 1986, Robert Ballard discovered and photographed the statue on the sea floor near the bow section of the wreck.

Diana of Versaille photographed in the Titanic in 1912 and where she lays today.

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