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Magnificent Opera Garnier is a must see in Paris!

At the request of Napoleon III, in 1861 Charles Garnier undertook the building of a new opera house which opened in 1875

At the request of Napoleon III, in 1861 Charles Garnier undertook the building of a new opera house which opened in 1875

The Grand Foyer is made to seem even bigger through the play of mirrors and windows; Baudry painted the ceiling which features themes from the history of music

The Grand Foyer is made to seem even bigger through the play of mirrors and windows; Baudry painted the ceiling which features themes from the history of music

The ceremonial staircase is made of white marble with a balustrade of red and green marble; people came to the Opera for this part of the show, not what was on stage

The ceremonial staircase is made of white marble with a balustrade of red and green marble; people came to the Opera for this part of the show, not what was on stage

The Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. is modeled after the Opera Garnier, most notably the facade and Great Hall

The Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. is modeled after the Opera Garnier, most notably the facade and Great Hall

The Opera was the setting for Leroux's 1910 novel, The Phantom of the Opera; I think it's the most beautiful building in Paris

The Opera was the setting for Leroux's 1910 novel, The Phantom of the Opera; I think it's the most beautiful building in Paris

The ceiling above the grand staircase includes paintings The Triumph of Apollo and The Enchantment of Music Deploying its Charms

The ceiling above the grand staircase includes paintings The Triumph of Apollo and The Enchantment of Music Deploying its Charms

The grand vestibule has statues of 4 composers; there were separate entrances and seating areas for the rich and the poor

The grand vestibule has statues of 4 composers; there were separate entrances and seating areas for the rich and the poor

The stage area is enormous; you could easily fit the Arc de Triomphe inside; the Opera Garnier is the number 3 thing to do in Paris according to TripAdvisor

The stage area is enormous; you could easily fit the Arc de Triomphe inside; the Opera Garnier is the number 3 thing to do in Paris according to TripAdvisor

The avant foyer ceiling is covered with intricate mosaics on a gold background; the building today mainly hosts dance performances while the newer Bastille Opera hosts musical performances

The avant foyer ceiling is covered with intricate mosaics on a gold background; the building today mainly hosts dance performances while the newer Bastille Opera hosts musical performances

The Opera bedazzled Garnier's contemporaries with the opulence and eclecticism of his design; the Opera was the 35 year old Garnier's first major commission

The Opera bedazzled Garnier's contemporaries with the opulence and eclecticism of his design; the Opera was the 35 year old Garnier's first major commission

The Opera Garnier is rightfully considered one of the world's most beautiful theatres; it strikes the perfect balance between functional and flamboyant

The Opera Garnier is rightfully considered one of the world's most beautiful theatres; it strikes the perfect balance between functional and flamboyant

There was even a restaurant in the Opera with the menu painted on the walls; this panel illustrates tea while others showed coffee, pastries, fish, beef, champagne and, the most expensive items, ice cream

There was even a restaurant in the Opera with the menu painted on the walls; this panel illustrates tea while others showed coffee, pastries, fish, beef, champagne and, the most expensive items, ice cream

Picasso started working with the ballet in the 1910s making sets and costumes; the artist was also a dancer himself

Picasso started working with the ballet in the 1910s making sets and costumes; the artist was also a dancer himself

The writer Jean Cocteau, his museum was on the Riviera in Menton, convinced Picasso to design the costumes for his opera Parade

The writer Jean Cocteau, his museum was on the Riviera in Menton, convinced Picasso to design the costumes for his opera Parade

Fireplaces bracket the ends of the grand foyer which was designed to serve as the drawing room for Paris society

Fireplaces bracket the ends of the grand foyer which was designed to serve as the drawing room for Paris society

View from the outside loggia; my tour group had tourists from Chile, New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Russia, US, Argentina and Bali

View from the outside loggia; my tour group had tourists from Chile, New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Russia, US, Argentina and Bali

Navlet, The Grand Staircase at the Opera, 1889; this painting at the Orsay shows that the Opera building hasn't changed in 130 years

Navlet, The Grand Staircase at the Opera, 1889; this painting at the Orsay shows that the Opera building hasn't changed in 130 years

Portrait of Charles Garnier by Baudry, 1868; in addition to the Opera Garnier in Paris, he also designed the opera in Monte Carlo

Portrait of Charles Garnier by Baudry, 1868; in addition to the Opera Garnier in Paris, he also designed the opera in Monte Carlo

Exceptional model of the Opera Garnier; the actual theater is on the far left; much more important, were the public spaces to the right where people went to be seen

Exceptional model of the Opera Garnier; the actual theater is on the far left; much more important, were the public spaces to the right where people went to be seen

The Opera follows the Napoleon III style principle of leaving no space without decoration; ironically, Napoleon III's private entrance is undecorated since he died before the opening

The Opera follows the Napoleon III style principle of leaving no space without decoration; ironically, Napoleon III's private entrance is undecorated since he died before the opening

The Opera library preserves three centuries of the theatre's memories which includes 600,000 documents such as 10000 programs and 100000 photographs

The Opera library preserves three centuries of the theatre's memories which includes 600,000 documents such as 10000 programs and 100000 photographs

The original ceiling in the auditorium melded better with the overall aesthetics; this new ceiling was painted by Chagall in 1964 which met with instant disapproval by the French

The original ceiling in the auditorium melded better with the overall aesthetics; this new ceiling was painted by Chagall in 1964 which met with instant disapproval by the French

The Opera was the most expensive building constructed in Paris during the Second Empire but, in today's dollars, is still less expensive than the new Bastille Opera

The Opera was the most expensive building constructed in Paris during the Second Empire but, in today's dollars, is still less expensive than the new Bastille Opera

In the late 1800s French men would bring their wives to the Opera on Mondays and Wednesday while bringing their mistresses on Fridays; if their mistress was someone else's wife I can see problems with this arrangement

In the late 1800s French men would bring their wives to the Opera on Mondays and Wednesday while bringing their mistresses on Fridays; if their mistress was someone else's wife I can see problems with this arrangement

A statue of Pythia represents the hidden side of the theater; I opted for a guided tour of the Opera in English which was very informative and entertaining

A statue of Pythia represents the hidden side of the theater; I opted for a guided tour of the Opera in English which was very informative and entertaining

Posted by VagabondCowboy 09:11

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