The Daily Baguette
- my time in Paris ... and other places
26 May 2011
Our visit to the beautiful Opera Garnier was such a treat - we can recommend taking the guided tour when you are next in Paris.
It was conducted in English, was extremely informative and only cost 12. 50 euros.
Now used mostly for ballet and some opera performances, this amazing building was built on the orders of Napoleon III as part of the great Parisian reconstruction project which was carried out by Baron Haussmann.
The design was put out to competition and was won by Charles Garnier, an unknown 35 year old architect.
The construction took 15 years from 1860 - 1875.
The beautiful mosaic ceilings are inlaid with gold.
The Grand Foyer was intended to resemble the gallery of a classical chateau, such as the superb Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.
As the intervals used to be over 45 minutes in length ( because the scenery changes were all done manually ), the public spaces were made for the audience to promenade and be seen in the long breaks.
Wend ponders reprising her starring role as Ophelia ...
Jo leaning on a lamp post !
In the restaurant the walls are decorated with Gobelins tapestries of the menu - tea, coffee, wine, etc
On entering the theatre the Marc Chagall ceiling takes your breath away.
The chandelier weighs 8 tonnes and has never fallen, even though in the Phantom of the Opera
musical it did !