The Palais Garnier, also known as the Paris Opéra, was the inspiration for the Phantom of the Opera. When you’re inside, it’s not hard to see how one could be inspired. Construction on the Palais Ganier, named for its famed architect, Charles Garnier, began in 1862. It was one of the many civic projects instituted by Napoleon III. Because of political strife and construction problems, it did not open until 1875. The Paris opera company would move out in 1975 (to the Opéra Bastille), but the Palais Garnier still plays host to operas, as well as concerts, ballets, and other shows.
The Palais Garnier is a magnificent example of Beaux-Arts architecture. The inside is the epitome of opulence – seemingly every surface is adorned with ornamentation. There are marble floors, gilded chandeliers, statues, frescoes, and more. It’s almost overwhelming. The Grand Foyer is especially stunning, and is often compared to the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. Pictures do not do this place justice.
You’re definitely going to want to take one of the guided tours, which run twice daily in English on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. If you’re into high arts, then check out the current season’s schedule and consider seeing a show. It would be an unforgettable experience.
Telephone: +33 01 41 10 08 10
Hours: Every day 10:00-17:00; closed holidays.
Admission (regular admission/tour):
€5.00/€9.50 Under 25
Free/€6.50 Under 10