The Opéra Garnier is without doubt the capital’s most representative and emblematic monument of the Second Empire style in Paris. Do you know that it is possible to visit it ?
A Parisian Icon
Built between 1860 and 1875, during the major transformation works of the capital directed by Haussmann, it is one of the most majestic symbols of this era. Opera Garnier is a Parisian icon. For locals, this opulent opera and ballet house is as much a part of the cultural fabric of the city as Notre Dame, the Louvre, or the Eiffel Tower. To everyone else, it’s the setting for The Phantom of the Opera. Perhaps the most beautiful opera house in the world, Opéra Garnier is full of history.
A breathtaking place
Know that it is possible to visit this majestic place during the day. From swinging chandeliers and a marble imperial staircase to a Grand Foyer and a 2,000-seat auditorium, make like the aristocratic guests of yesteryear and explore Opéra Garnier at your own leisure ! Charles Garnier designed the opera house for Emperor Napoleon III, but construction was held up by unusually high groundwater levels. As a solution, a series of cisterns were built to redistribute the water. This gave way to speculations of an eerie subterranean lake under Opéra Garnier.
A controversial facade
Tourists aren’t allowed into the waterways of the Phantom’s lair, but considering how it turned out in Leroux’s novel, maybe that’s for the best. However, there are still many nooks and crannies to explore in one of the world’s largest opera houses. Be impressed by the facade with its rose-marble columns, baroque statues, and intricately carved friezes. Admire the seven-ton crystal chandelier, which is shrouded in controversy. Make sure to look up – the ceilings are literate with paintings – and pop into a temporary exhibition to make the most out of your visit! On leaving, take a tour of the facade to better appreciate its magnificent exterior architecture. To the right of the main facade, you can see La Danse by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. A work that goes unnoticed today and which was nevertheless at the time of its construction one of the most controversial of the 19th century.
Place de l’Opera
Open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on matinee performance days
Buy your tickets HERE