Hello, it’s me Marimonda!
Today, I’d like to introduce you the Palais Garnier also known as Opera. As a symbol of Paris, the Palais Garnier is an eye-catching architecture from far distance with its green roof and fancy decoration. It has a distinct architect style called <Napoleon III>, which includes Baroque, Renaissance, and Classicism all together. The Palais Garnier is also famous for the background of the book written by Gaston Leroux and the musical <the Phantom of the Opera>.
First it was built as the Académie Royale de Danse(Royal Academy of Dance) by Louis XIV in 1661. At that moment, it aimed to train dancers and formalize choreographic. Eight years later, Académie Royale de Musique (Royal Academy of Music) was created and this place started focus on dance and music. The name of the building followed after the architect Charles Garnier. Today, it’s primarily used for ballet and opera performances by Paris Opera Ballet, while the Opera Bastille is a home symphony and some ballet performances.
The Paris Opera 350th Anniversary
I reserved <The Paris Opera 350th Anniversary> tour to look around here. It takes 1h 20 mins and it costs €18. This tour is more focused on the history of the Paris Opera. If you’re interested in the structure of the building or general information on it, you can also take <The Opera Garnier Day Tour> which lasts 1h 20 mins(same) and costs €17. Considering that the entrance ticket costs €14 and the audio guide is €5, the guided tour seems to be a good deal.
Don’t forget to exchange your online reservation voucher to a ticket. You might have to line up and wait to get your ticket, thus I recommend you to arrive at least 15 mins before your reservation time. When you get your ticket, you should present one of your ID card. Then, wait for your guide in the waiting room. Your guide will distribute the audio system and check whether it works well or not. After checking the audio system, your tour begins. You can stay as long as you want after the tour until it closes.
You would be amazed by its opulence Grand Staircase when you step in the building. In the middle, there’s a big staircase decorated with marbles and fancy candle sticks and sculptures. Standing there and seeing people taking pictures, I felt as if I were a celebrity. It is breathtaking.
After learning some history of the Palais Garnier, I visited Auditorium and had an opportunity to sit down and listen to the history. The auditorium is impressive, and the guide explained us some scenes of the Phantom of the Opera such as where the phantom appears, etc. Plus, if there’s no performance going on, you could see a preparation room on the right end of the stage where Edgar Degas got inspirations when he painted his ballet series. Normally, it’s blocked with stage decorations, thus it’s hard to see.
Chandelier painted by Marc Chagall
The chandelier on the roof is full of Marc Chagall’s painting. He painted performances presented in the Palais Garnier. He added some flavors to this classical decoration.
The Grand Foyer is also an important spot to look. Decorated with candle sticks and paintings, the salon was similar to the Palace of Versailles. There’s a balcony where you can see the view of Paris. Don’t miss it!
Overall, the building is beautifully decorated and a great example of the prosperity of France. It might be a good idea to dress up moderately to get nice pictures if you plan to visit there. I stayed there for about two hours including the tour and it was enough.
Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂
Address : Place de l’Opéra 75009 Paris
Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (self-guided tour),
Admission for the participant of the guided tour hour is different depending on your tour schedule