This is a magnificent Opera House that was built in 1860 by Charles Garnier.
Its chandeleirs are some of the best I've seen.
The Opera house only has seating fro 2,200 people but its stage is massive spanning 172 metres long by 125 metres wide and reaches a height of 74 metres. (564 x 410 x 241 ft).
The Opera House is a large building, it has a total area of 11,000 square metres (118,404 square feet) with the auditorium comprising roughly half of the total space.
An underground lake was discovered during construction. The small lake still exists under the opera building and became the hiding place of the 'Phantom of the Opera' in Paul Leroux's famous play.
The interior of the Opéra Garnier building is even more impressive than its exterior and that takes some beating. The marble grand staircase has a height of 30m. The 54m long Grand Foyer features a mosaic covered ceiling and a large number of beautiful chandeliers.
Behind the Grand Foyer and below the green copper dome is the lavishly decorated auditorium with red velvet, plaster cherubs and gold leaf. The auditorium's magnificent chandelier weighs a massive six tonnes.
In all, this is a very very impressive building.
The outside of the opera is really, really amazing! unfortunately I didn't go inside but that's another reason to go back. To me, it is one of the best architectures you find in Paris, thanks to Charles Gariner.
Like so many other tourists, we've only driven by and viewed the famous opera through the windows of our tour bus. But, of course you can still see a show here.
It's on my huge list of things to do when I return to the city.
Unfortunately, I have never been inside of the Palais Garnier. Looking back, I wish I had the time to see the inside! The beautiful Neo-Baroque architecture style is breathtaking! A virtual tour can be taken on the official website; however, this does not replace seeing the real thing. Make sure you visit the Palais Garnier!
For me it’s one of the most beautiful building in Paris. Opera is designed by Charles Garnier. It’s in neo-baroque style and have 2 200 seat. When you come inside you will see the masterpiece reach grand staircase. Upon its inauguration in 1875, the opera house was officially named the Académie Nationale de Musique - Théâtre de l'Opéra. It retained this title until 1978 when it was re-named the Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris.
The ballet I saw was fabuleux! Ecole de Danse, one of the most prestigious schools of dance in the world was the featured ballet; I feel very lucky to have seen them and have most likely watched future world-class ballet stars at their inception. Cool.
During intermission try a coupe de champagne - la di da (about 9€ April 2003 prices). It is such an ephemeral Parisian moment to drink champagne at the Opéra Garnier during intermission. However, you will not be allowed to take the glass back with you to your seat.
A very nice way to capture the memory of your time at the ballet and a reminder of who & what you saw is to buy a program (10€ - pricing 7 years ago).
Don't forget to peer up at the Marc Chagall ceiling (painted in 1964) ~ very colorful & otherworldly! You would think Chagall's modern & inimitable work would clash with the Opéra's original Second Empire Baroque style but somehow it works together beautifully.
If for some reason you did not manage to procure tickets to the Opéra before you came to Paris, you'll find there are people selling tickets (quite literally) at the door as you go in. However, prices are not guaranteed!
Also, I believe the best time to view this building in all her glory is at night (see photos).
Guided tours in English provided daily at 3pm.
Photos: November 2008
Ok, so the best view of Paris is from the top of the Eiffel Tower, we all know that. There are also the other popular spots to see the city from a high vantage point like the bell towers of Notre Dame, the area in front of the Sacre Coeur, the top of the Arc de Triomphe & the top of the Tour Montparnasse. Aside from the Sacre Coeur, all the places I ment'd will cost you a few euros.
How about a great view of the city for FREE?? It's at the Galerie Lafayette (prob Paris' biggest dept store), not far from the Opera Garnier. Go into the Galerie & take the escalator all the way to the top, it's about 8 floors. Look for the signs guiding you to the "terace" & you'll come out on the roof of the Galerie. A must-see for photographers! You can get some great shots of the Tower, Sacre Coeur, & other places up there, plus it must be great for sunsets! Bring a telephoto lens!
It’s tacky in a sort of 80s/Donald Trump/Liberace way, but well worth seeing. Interestingly, there’s a strange, legendary rivalry that is apparently true: the opera house is built on a lake (yes, a lake), and a stage hand started fishing in it. Another person who worked there said if one person can use the lake to fish, he should be allowed to use the roof to keep bees, so he now keeps bees on the roof of the Opera!
Depending on what tour guide you listen to, the Phantom has his own seat at the Opera Garnier, but whether or not that is the case is besides the point, the Opera house itself is the true spectacle. Built between 1862 and 1875 and designed by Charles Garnier, this opera's ornate interior is adorned with lots of velvet and gold leaf. The impressive ceiling was painted by Chagall in 1964 and is rather ugly in my opinion.
In 1860, french architect Charles Garnier won the contest organized by Napoleon III in order to provide a design for a new opera for Paris.
The outer parts were built from 1861 to 1870 and the opera inaugurated in 1875 (the gap was due to 'la Commune' revolution, during which the edifice was used as prison and storage rooms).
The overdecorated, mix of baroque, neo-classical and italian inspired style is typical of Napoleon III's era.
Since 1990 the Opera Garnier has a "baby brother" : the Opera Bastille where most of the lyric performances occur nowadays, while the ballets remain mainly in Garnier.
The Opera hosts a dance museum and can be visited between performances (the interior decoration is stunning (if somewhat pompous).
For performances, you can book on-line :
either directly from the Opera
or via FNAC
In 1860, when Napoleon III created a contest to find the architect that would build the new Paris opera house, 35-year-old Charles Garnier had very little to recommend him other than his imagination and skills; but to everyone's surprise, Garnier did win the contest and the new Opera house was inaugurated in 1875. The heavily ornamented building aligns several different styles, which Garnier himself called the "Napoleon III" style. L'Opera Garnier sits about 2,200 people and was the inspiration behind Gaston Leroux's famous novel "The Phantom of the Opera".
It is possible to visit the great staircase, the foyers, and the auditorium (when available) of the opera. Admission costs 8 Euros, and you cannot use your Museum Pass. For this reason we skipped on the visit and simply looked at the great staircase from the entry hall - but I do hope I get to see it all someday, and maybe see a production too!
The facade of this building is supposed to be wonderful but we wouldn't know. When we arrived in 2000, it was covered totally because it was being restored. We went inside and bought our ticket. (The museum pass wasn't valid here.) The Grand Staircase is one of the most famous features. Then there are huge richly decorated foyers that give the audience places to stroll through during the "intervals". They are gilded with gold and have beautiful lighting. We went into the balcony area to look down on the theatre with red velvet seats. The stage is very large and cloaked with a red curtain. The ceiling is famous. It is done by Chagall and is magnificent. I have loved his art for a long time and can remember doing copies of his work when I was in the 9th grade. That's when my dream of going to Paris began. If we were in Paris longer, we might be able to come to an opera here.
When we visited Paris in 2006, we finally saw the beautiful building. The statues on top of it gleamed golden in the sunlight. On our guided tour we learned that this new opera house came about because when Napoleon III arrived with his wife to hear a new singer, they were bombed by a group of dissenters with 80 people killed. So Napoleon asked for an opera house to be designed with a covered side entrance for royalty to enter. Charles Garnier got the commission over 200 others even though he was unknown.
Paris Garnier opera is biggest musical theater of the world in respect useful area. Opera of bastille has greatest house (audience). Garnier has 11.237 surface m2, on audience 2.200 places and on stage 450. Library and museum of opera is placed in lateral Imperial pavilion (entrance from rue Scribe), found officially in 1866, but from 1882 in present place. Among others, all scores of operas are piled here, played from 1669 , 80.000 volume of books and prints, symphonic scores, scripts of ballets and art theatrical librett. Theatrical dresses are presented in museum, reminders about great artists, work of arts concerned with.
Built between 1860 and 1875, Opéra Garnier is a riot of design, color, sculpture, amazing architectural details, and overwhelming beauty. The opera house was close to my office. I often visited at lunch, and just explored a small portion of the building. The attention to detail in the overall design is simply incredible, and it all adds up to an overwhelming whole.
There is an opera museum featuring set and costume design. The public spaces are breathtaking. This was a building created to highlight the public, so the public spaces are vast, ornate, and incredible. You can also get a glimpse of the ceiling mural painted by Marc Chagal in 1964.
Opera performances now take place in the blandly-modern Opéra Bastille, and the Opéra Garnier is reserved primarily for ballet. But the building itself is certainly worth a visit. In 1999, the building underwent an intense cleaning and restoration, so those who once visited a dirty black building will be stunned.
Open daily in the summer from 10h00 to 18h00 (16h30 in the winter). Admission is 6 €, or 3 € for those who are retired, unemployed, or under 19.
See the travelogue for a sampling of the incredible art in this building.
After a competition, the design of the Opera was awarded to Charles Garnier in 1862. It was located at the juncture of eight avenues as dictated by Haussmann. It opened in 1875 with the largest opera stage in the world. Due to the large foyer, staircase and numerous ancillary rooms for musical pursuits and festivities, the seating capacity is limited to 2,100. Ironically no great French Opera has ever been premiered in it and it is eclipsed by the venue at the Bastille; with such a large stage it is much used for ballet. If there is no daytime function, it is open daily for tours (10-1630). Although we are music lovers and have been to many non-popular performances around Paris and attended operas elsewhere, we have missed opera in Paris We have toured many opera houses, but we have missed this one.
The style of the Opera is Baroque with movement everywhere. It has been called a “fantasy of the sumptuous”. Garnier himself wrote”there is no guide other than the inspiration and will” as his tenets to design. Every type of luxury and sculpture abounds. Brazenly the busts of the 17 greatest opera composers look out from below the cornices, several of whom have not been performed in a century., (and I think Mozart is missing of course). The display even descends to the lamposts at the curb.
Since it is a major bus stop and tour departure area, everbody sees the building