Tourism / Travel

Opulence Redefined: The Opéra Garnier

This post is a bit overdue as I actually visited the Opéra Garnier, or Palais Garnier as it is also known, in either late November or early December, but somehow I just never got around to editing the photos and kept pushing them back. But enough is enough, the world needs to see this shrine to all things gilded and gold!

Built in the late 1800’s, the Opéra Garnier used to be Paris’ main opera house and was the setting & inspiration for the infamous opera house in the Phantom of the Opera (seriously, the canals under the building are apparently a real deal, although you cannot visit them.) It now shares duty with the Opéra Bastille and to my knowledge mostly presents ballets these days, but it’s a destination all on its own in my opinion. Unfortunately on the day my friends and I chose to visit there were rehearsals going on in the auditorium, so we were only allowed to peek through a curtain into the darkness and not take any photos, but frankly the entryway and foyers are so elaborate on their own that I don’t feel too cheated. (Ok, maybe a little, but that’s because as a former technical crew member for high school musicals/plays/whatever, I really want to see the backstage area…and those legendary canals!)

There’s not a huge plethora of information as you go through the opera house–so if you want the full lowdown you’ll need to take a tour. However, not being one to voluntarily take those, I skipped out and can’t provide oodles of information other than what wikipedia has to offer me. I will say that the place has some lovely costumes on display from past performances and a library with a few fancy works of art and loads of old set designs at the end of the tour. I will also say that this place, in my opinion, blows Versailles out of the water as Paris’ (and thus probably France’s) most ostentatious, gilded, and glamorous building. My jaw didn’t leave the floor the entire time.

And with that, I shall just leave you the photographic evidence and keep this post short for a change. Enjoy the insanity!

First clues upon entering that we were about to see some crazy, crazy stuff.

First clues upon entering that we were about to see some crazy, crazy stuff.

Taken from the Grand staircase looking forward...just...wow.

Taken from the Grand staircase looking forward…just…wow.

Et voila! The famous Grand Staircase itself! Ohhh the drama, the drama! EXCUSE ME WHILE I GO SING "MASQUERADE" REAL QUICK.

Et voila! The famous Grand Staircase itself! Ohhh the drama, the drama! EXCUSE ME WHILE I GO SING “MASQUERADE” REAL QUICK.

Unsure of the name of this room or its purpose. However, it had a lovely painted ceiling and a few artistic busts/paintings on the walls.

Unsure of the name of this room or its purpose. However, it had a lovely painted ceiling and a few artistic busts/paintings on the walls.

The Grand Foyer. I just...I don't even know how to take in all the gold.

The Grand Foyer. I just…I don’t even know how to take in all the gold.

View from a balcony outside the Grand Foyer looking down the street. (This is the street my gym is on, FYI. Aw, yeah!)

View from a balcony outside the Grand Foyer looking down the street. (This is the street my gym is on, FYI. Aw, yeah!)

And finally a peek at the tiny but very cozy opera house library. I wanted to pry open the books, but there were grids across them all...

And finally a peek at the tiny but very cozy opera house library. I wanted to pry open the books, but there were grids across them all…

 

Hope you enjoyed your daily dose of sparkle!

-B

 

 

 

 

 

 

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