Perfectly positioned within the 9th arrondissement of Paris and within easy reach of many of our Paris holiday apartments, the Palais Garnier is an attraction definitely worthy of a visit. Showcasing regular performances of world class ballet, the magnificent building is also brimming with exquisite architecture and simply breath-taking décor. Find one of our Opera Area Apartments in Paris located in the 9th Arrondissement.
Prominently standing upon the charming Place de l’Opera square, the Palais Garnier is one of the largest and most famous opera houses in the world and attracts visitors from across the globe on a daily basis. Also referred to as the Opera de Paris, the remarkable building was designed by the well-known architect Charles Garnier in the late 1800s for Emperor Napoleon III and was the main opera house in the city until the Opera Bastille opened its doors in the 1980s. Building work began in 1862 but was not completed until 1875 due to the discovery of a hidden lake beneath the structure’s foundations. The lake still remains underneath the Palais Garnier and was made hugely popular when it featured as the hiding place of the Phantom of the Opera is the much-loved novel.
The exterior design of the building is truly remarkable and is decorated with ornate columns and fascinating sculptures. The huge green, copper dome at the top of the Palais Garnier, together with its iconic, gold statues, is visible from across the neighbourhood. The interior of the building is even more impressive and is a sight certainly not to be missed. The incredible Grand Foyer, which is adorned with eye-catching furnishings and beautiful chandeliers, also features an array of superbly decorated, mosaic ceilings. The Grand Staircase, which is made from polished marble and measures almost 100 feet, is a truly outstanding and unforgettable example of fine architecture.
To the rear of the Grand Foyer is the Palais Garnier’s splendid auditorium, which seats just under 2000 spectators. Exuding an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere, the auditorium is brimming with red velvet furnishings, charming cherubs and gold coloured décor. At the centre of the auditorium’s hand painted ceiling is an enormous bronze and crystal chandelier, which weighs in excess of six tonnes. The chandelier was designed by Garnier himself and cost a staggering 30,000 Francs to create. At the far end of the auditorium is a 60 metre high stage, which is where up to 450 actors, dancers and performers delight the audiences and showcase their amazing talents.
As well as its inspiring architecture, the Palais Garnier is nowadays renowned for being one Paris’ main settings for regular presentations of delightful ballet performances, which attract ballet dancers from all over the world. Educational exhibitions also take place throughout the year within the opera house and range from insights into the history of the building to plans for the future. The Paris Opera Library Museum can also be found within the Palais Garnier, together with a fine dining restaurant. For more information regarding opening times, ticket details and current exhibitions, please see the Palais Garnier’s official website – visitepalaisgarnier.fr/en.