In Paris there are two opera houses, the Opéra Bastille and the Palais Garnier Opera House, also known as the Opéra Garnier or the Opéra de Paris. In most cases Palais Garnier’s own ballet company performs.
The building was opened in 1875 and is located in the 9th Arrondissement, near the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was named after the architect, Charles Garnier, who built it on behalf of Napoleon III.
The Palais Garnier is an architecturally unique building in Paris. Typically Beaux Art, it boasts Baroque, Classical and Hausmann influences. However, not only the façade with bronze figures of Apollo and Pegasus are stunning, the interior is as equally as beautiful. Upon entering the opera house you will see a 30-metre high grand staircase built in marble of different colours, adorned with various golden cherubs. The Grand Foyer of Palais Garnier is equally extravagant with velvet, gold leaf and beautiful chandeliers complete with luxury furnishings. It could even be compared to Chateau Versailles in Paris. Another highlight is the performance hall which can accommodate over 2,000 spectators. It is complete in red and gold and the dome was painted by Marc Chagall. Vivid colours have been used in this ceiling painting depicting different ballet and opera scenes. Amongst the many other beautiful things to see in the Palais Garnier, it has a museum-library featuring a collection allowing you to discover 300 years of the history of opera.
The Phantom of the Opera
Palais Garnier is the original setting for the story of the “Phantom of the Opera”. In 1896, one of the chandelier counterweights, weighing several tonnes, fell upon a concierge, fatally injuring her. In addition, members of the theatre claimed to have heard strange and mysterious sounds from the basement and maze-like corridors, thus refusing to enter these parts of the building.
If you are not fortunate enough to get hold of the coveted Palais Garnier tickets, then you always go on a guided tour of the Opera House. Palais Garnier is also home to the exclusive restaurant “L’ Opera Restaurant” boasting a great atmosphere, and typical French dishes at reasonable prices. Visit this stunning building and enjoy an entertaining stay in Paris with feelparis.