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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

[Opera Garnier] The symbol of Elegance at the centre of Paris

Probably I have been in front of the Opera Garnier more than a few dozen times.
The Opera Garnier, or formally the Palais Garnier, is one of the most famous symbols of Paris, along with the Notre Dame de Paris, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. And I've adored its opulent appearance ever since I saw it for the first time many years ago.
Despite my love for the building, I don't know why I've never thought of having a tour inside the Opera house until this summer.

But, this time! I didn't miss the chance and went to see the gorgeousness of the masterpiece designed by the architect Charles Garnier(1825-1898).

The Opera Garnier is (probably) the most ornate opera house which was built from 1861 to 1875 at the heart of Paris, upon the authorization of the Emperor Napoleon III who ordered to build a second theatre for the Paris Opera, founded by Louis XIV in 1669, and its associated Paris Opera Ballet which is the oldest Ballet company in the world.
The Palais Garnier(Opera Garnier) is now mainly used for ballet since the Opera Bastille opened at the Place de la Bastille in 1989.
The Opera Garnier is opened to public for both unaccompanied tours and guided tours.

What could I say? I was so happy to finally see the magnificent beaux-arts.
Even the tiniest part of this Opera house was spectacularly carved.
Each balcony was gorgeous.

I admired every bit of the building.

The Grand Foyer was a smaller version of the galleries des Glaces(English: Hall of Mirrors) of the Chateau de Versailles.
It is a highlight of the Palais.
Splendid ceiling of the Grand Foyer
When you come out to the balcony from the Grand Foyer, you can see the Avenue de l'Opera stretched from the Place de l'Opera.
Remi observing the Place d'Opera.
I tried hard to explain the location of the Opera Garnier to Pablo, but I don't think I achieved my goal here :(

 Way to the Auditorium

The elegant auditorium has 1,979 seats.
Now, I have a hope to seat here someday, for a ballet performance.
The chandlier of almost-7-tonnes was so gallant that you can never ignore it. How could Monsieur Garnier design such an imposing piece of light fixture, I wonder? Don't get me wrong, it is very beautiful, but IMHO, it seems almost obstructing the view of the stage. :(
Anyway every single bit of the chandelier was glittering.

 Mr. D and Remi at the top of staircase.
 My favorite part of this masterpiece was the Grand staircase positioned at the centre of the building. It was not only dignified, but also overbearing too ;)
I went up and down more than a few times before we finished the tour, just to admire the beauty and dignity of the staircase.

The finale of each tour comes at the gift shop, isn't it? :(
We try not to buy anything at a gift shop, which is not always successful.
I saw this miniature "Fauteuil « Thaïs » accoudoir"(English: Thai armrest chair) at the gift shop. The chair was about size of 20 inches. It's a very pretty chair of a perfect mini-size.
Guess the price of this petite chair.
The price tag said it was 2,365 euros. And as I said it is a miniature chair which you can't sit on.
Apart from so expensive chairs, there were varietiy of ballet gears as well as the DVDs of the ballets performed at the Palais Garnier.
Of course, Pablo wanted to buy even a pair of ballet shoes. :( However, we succeeded this time to come out of the gift shop with empty hand. Yay ;)
The Opera Garnier (or the Palais Garnier) is deftinely worth visiting!
I highly recommend the place! :)

You can see more posts about my trip to France if you click the links below:

1) [Auberge Ravoux] Van Gogh's last residence in Auvers-sur-Oise
2) [Basilique Saint-Denis] French Royal Necropolis - The burial place of the French Kings
3) [2012 Maffliers] Kids grow fast... and we age faster...?
4) [Chateau de Chantilly] Le musée Condé - The generosity of a royal prince
5) [Balade gourmande] Brittany by sail: Unforgettable day on a traditional boat in Cancale
6) [Must eat foods in France] You must try these ten inexpensive food in France
7) [Four Representative Architectures in Paris] The most visited edifices in Europe - Part I
8) [Four Representative Architectures in Paris] Notre Dame de Paris - Part II
9) [Four Representative Architectures in Paris Part III] Musee de Louvre or simply Louvre

Opéra Garnier


  1. Hello, Colleen! I was a huge fan of your former blog in Naver. I just want to let you know how much I'm happy to find this blog.
    I will visit often. :)

    1. Hi there,
      thanks for your visit and comment. I appreciate it.
      See you again soon. ;)

  2. It's always so hard to come out empty handed from the gift shop where it is actually filled with worthy stuff! Architecture is just jaw opening.... It'd be an honor to watch ballet performance someday. Btw, not to be like a stalker but with a hearted intentions-Remi has grown so much! He's now like a mannnnn hahaha jk, but still, manly than I've seen him back then.

    1. Hi Jenncious,
      me too. I'd love to see a ballet there! Some day... :)
      You are right. Remi is not a baby anymore. Kids grow and their parents age... :(
      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.