Palais Garnier

Paris, France

The Palais Garnier is a opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. The architect was Charles Garnier (1825–1898). It was originally called the Salle des Capucines because of its location on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but soon became known as the Palais Garnier in recognition of its opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier. The theatre is also often referred to as the Opéra Garnier, and historically was known as the Opéra de Paris or simply the Opéra, as it was the primary home of the Paris Opera and its associated Paris Opera Ballet until 1989, when the Opéra Bastille opened at the Place de la Bastille. The Paris Opera now mainly uses the Palais Garnier for ballet.

The Palais Garnier is one of the most famous opera houses in the worlkd. This is at least partly due to its use as the setting for Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera and, especially, the novel's subsequent adaptations in films and Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular 1986 musical.

The Palais Garnier also houses the Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra de Paris (Paris Opera Library-Museum). Although the Library-Museum is no longer managed by the Opera and is part of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the museum is included in unaccompanied tours of the Palais Garnier.

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Address

Rue Scribe 8, Paris, France
See all sites in Paris

Details

Founded: 1861-1875
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in France

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

BradJill Travels (22 months ago)
The Palais Garnier Opera House is a beautiful building designed by Charles Garnier between 1862 and 1875. He borrowed from both classical and baroque architectural styles to construct this opulent and majestic opera house. The Grand staircase and Grand Foyer are well worth spending time viewing. Both are rather remarkable and make good reason to arrive well in advance of your intended performance, allowing you plenty of time to enjoy these splendours beforehand. Picture taking of these rooms is allowed so bring your camera. Needless to say, the auditorium area itself is lovely as well and makes for an ideal venue for ballet performances. Note of the lovely chandelier, designed by Garnier, hanging in the auditorium, set before an interesting choice of ceiling paintings, added by Russian Marc Chagall 1964. Overall, we very much enjoyed watching a ballet performance here and exploring both the inside and outside of the famous opera house on a couple of occasions during visits to Paris.
Lady Von Barber (22 months ago)
Beautiful place to visit. A lot of history. You kind of get that spokey vibe here. I would highly recommend doing a group tour, we didn’t have the chance to because it was close to closing time. But if you have the chance I highly recommend doing it. Next time when we are back we will be doing the tour!
Mark Kram (22 months ago)
Magnificent Place. Did a day tour and a night tour (a year later). Day tour did not do any justice because there were just so many people around. It was easy to get distracted (day tour) because we had to navigate between other people but with night tour we had the place to ourselves and the tour guide spent time explaining a lot of the history of the place. Night tour might cost a bit more bit the ambience feels totally different.
Jazmin Jackson (23 months ago)
Exceptionally beautiful Opera House. Did the self-guided tour. Dropped a star because the auditorium was closed off the day I went and it's not made inexplicably clear on the website when that could be so it's kind of a luck thing.
Dhriti Nadir (23 months ago)
Stunning! I was blown away by the ornate architecture inside. Highly recommend the guided tour - gives you the chance to go to the lower seating section and sit in those chairs. A wonderful building, can be done within 2 hours. Best : even open on Mondays!
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The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.