Those who read my post on Liceu already know, I love operas. And the Palais Garnier is “probably the most famous opera house in the world, and a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica. When I was first time in Paris, I stayed at walking distance from the opera, but I did not see it. I planned for only 4 structures, ( Eiffel, Louvre, Notre dame & Sacre coeur ) and I saw them nicely in 2days’ stay. Because I knew, if I plan for everything, I won’t enjoy anything. So, this time I saw some more of Parisian architecture, which obviously included opera.
The exterior of the opera holds architecturally elaborate marble friezes, columns, and lavish statuary, many of which portray deities of Greek mythology. The sculptural group Apollo, Poetry, and Music, located at the apex of the south gable of the stage flytower, is the work of Aimé Millet, and the two smaller bronze Pegasus figures at either end of the south gable are by Eugène-Louis Lequesne.
Opera Garnier is the reflection of the quotes of Italian poet Torquato Tasso “desire for much, hope for little” On 30 December 1860 the Second Empire of Emperor Napoleon III announced an architectural design competition and among 171 architects, Charles Garnier secured 5th place in the final phase. Garnier’s project was selected for its “rare and superior qualities in the beautiful distribution of the plans, the monumental and characteristic aspect of the facades and sections”.
Garnier & his team worked very hard to complete it in 1874. Now, the opera is a 1,979-seat opera house stands as an exceptional architectural beauty and symbol of French poetry, music and lyrical drama.
The opera opens everyday from 10 am to 5 pm.To reach the Palais Garnier:
Metro: Opéra station, lines 3,7,8, RER: Auber station, line A
Bus: routes 20, 21, 22, 27, 29, 42, 52, 53, 66, 68, 81, 95. The ticket price is 11 euro, but it varies little bit, so check before you go.
The Palais Garnier also houses the Bibliothèque-Musée de l’Opéra de Paris (Paris Opera Library-Museum), the museum is included in unaccompanied tours of the Palais Garnier.
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