☆ Palais Garnier – Opéra national de Paris ☆
The Opera House was inaugurated under the Third Republic, following fifteen years of setbacks, including the nightmarish discovery by the architect Charles Garnier, of an underground expanse of water..
This rather deep lake, the stage for executions during the Commune, was the inspiration for writer Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera..
But let’s start with the main auditorium, with its ceiling painted by Chagall, its eight-ton crystal chandelier, and purple velvet seats set around an Italian-style stage, where operas and ballets are performed..
The vestibules and main staircase going up to the auditorium are made of marble and filled with sculptures of harps and lyres leading the dance..
Outside, Baroque and neo-Renaissance styles intertwine above a flight of steps that are a popular place for people to meet up..
Place de l’Opéra (9th). M° Opéra. Tel: 01 40 01 22 63.
Daily: 10am-4.30pm, except for matinees and one-off performances. €7– RR: €4.