Palais Garnier

As a construction, the Palais Garnier is perhaps the most important and recogniseable monuments from the Second Empire’s period. It is situated in the 9th arondissement, in the Place de l’Opera. The construction works began in 1862, and were finished fifteen years later. The main cause of the delays was a small lake, part of which still exists under the building. The architect in charge was Charles Garnier, and the one who commissioned the building was Emperor Napoleon III himself.

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All is monumental about this edifice, starting with the 30 m high imposing grand staircase. In the Grand Foyer, visitors can admire the superb mosaic-decorated ceiling, and the great number of chandeliers that offer the whole place supreme luxurious touch. In fact, this part of the building is often compared with the famous Versailles corridors. As for the auditorium, it impresses its viewers with the marvelous cherub sculptures, gold leafed decorations and the massive, 6 tons weighing chandelier.

The stage is fitted for great performances, in every sense of the word. More than four hundred artists can act here simultaneously. That’s why, ever since 1989, the year when the Opera de Paris Bastille was finished, the building from the Second Empire was designated exclusively for ballet performances. Viewing such a show in the lavishly decorated Opera de Paris Garnier creates a unique sensation.

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