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Notes on the Geography of France: Paris 2: Classical: Photo 4

world pictures France: Paris 2: Classical

Here we are, looking back. This is the Pavilion l'Horologe, which takes its name from the clock. On the left is the Lescot Wing, the first one to be built. It was completed in 1550 for Henri II, the first king to live in the Louvre. About 40 years later, in 1595, the architect to Henri IV proposed making Lescot's wing merely one wing of a square, the Cour Carrée. Work to do that began under Louis XIII and his architect, Le Mercier. It was Le Mercier who built this Pavillion and the wing to its right, the (surprise!) Le Mercier Wing. Le Mercier was faithful to Lescot, building a wings two stories high, plus an attic under a sloping roof. He kept the arches over the projecting bays, as well as the alternating arches and pediments over the first-floor windows. Both wings still are one room wide, but Le Mercier introduces the pavillion, which contains the escalier d'honneur and divides the wings in half. The giant caryatids are his, too, although you can't help feeling they're a trifle lonely. Maybe the fellow in the man-lift will come up and chat a bit.

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