The Palais Garnier (French: [palɛ ɡaʁnje] (listen), Garnier Palace), also known as Opéra Garnier (French: [ɔpeʁa ɡaʁnje] (listen), Garnier Opera), is a 1,979-seat opera house at the Place de l'Opéra in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, France. It was built for the Paris Opera from 1861 to 1875 at the behest of Emperor Napoleon III. Initially referred to as le nouvel Opéra de Paris (the new Paris Opera), it soon became known as the Palais Garnier, "in acknowledgment of its extraordinary opulence" and the architect Charles Garnier's plans and designs, which are representative of the Napoleon III style. It was the primary theatre of the Paris Opera and its associated Paris Opera Ballet until 1989, when a new opera house, the Opéra Bastille, opened at the Place de la Bastille. The company now uses the Palais Garnier mainly for ballet. The theatre has been a monument historique of France since 1923.
The Palais Garnier has been called "probably the most famous opera house in the world, a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica." 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 the popular 1986 musical. Another contributing factor is that among the buildings constructed in Paris during the Second Empire, besides being the most expensive, it has been described as the only one that is "unquestionably a masterpiece of the first rank." This opinion is far from unanimous however: the 20th-century French architect Le Corbusier once described it as "a lying art" and contended that the "Garnier movement is a décor of the grave".
Mister Morne Van der Berg | Apr 5, 2018
If you visit Paris and you cannot make it to Versailles, this is at least as beautiful as it gets if you don't have too much time either. This opera house is a lovely place to take a walk through and see some of the most beautiful interior in richly decorated Baroque style. If you have seen "Smurfs 2" you might also recognize the interior of the main auditorium. Typical of many of these beautiful old buildings in Paris, you feel like going back in time when you visit a place like this. I was also glad to be able to take a few nice photos there. Thank you, city of Paris!
Suzanne Long | Apr 18, 2018
What a stunning and magical place! I saw the Ballet which was excellent. But the building! Absolutely unbelievable. It is dripping in gold and decadence. Truly a relic of an earlier time. Well worth visiting. Don't miss the statues of famous French Baroque composers (and some non- Frenchmen who became famous in Paris) in the entry lobby.
Adrian Lunsong | Apr 20, 2018
The opera house is absolutely amazing! If you're here to admire the architecture, you won't be disappointed as it's truly spectacular! The carvings and decor is breathtaking!! Very, very impressive and going up and down the main stairs is so satisfying as you would feel so grand, like a super star! If you're here for the shows, the stage is just impressive! I've never seen such a huge stage with so much depth and height!! There's just so much to love about this historic place!! The one criticism I have is that the signage is so bad. We walked around the building twice because we couldn't work out where the entrance to the box office was located! As it turns out, a show was on so it wasn't open! Also if you do get in, do note that there are three different queues; first counter is if you want to book a guided tour, second counter if you want to pay by card for a self guided tour, and the last counter is to pay by cash. You would have to walk past the first counter to go deeper in before seeing the second counter.. and the same before you get to the third. If you didn't know you would be wasting your time in the wrong queue.
Christian Granados | Apr 28, 2018
Took the guided tour and it was well worth it. There are so many intricate details in this monument it can be difficult to find on your own. We even got a chance to sit inside the theatre and admire the stage and surroundings. It's really a work of art.
David M | Apr 17, 2018
Easily one of the most spectacular and awe inspiring buildings in Paris! With its over the top everything, one can’t help but understand why France had a couple of revolutions to reestablish a better distribution of wealth. It’s absolutely amazing and beautiful in every way
B. Gold | Jul 5, 2018
The most famous Opera house in the world. Spectacular monument with gilded marble and lavish decor. Landmark named after its architect Charles Garnier. The Napoleon Ill style of architecture that was later an inspiration for many Opera houses around the world. Built for Opera performances now is mostly used for ballet, where best performers grace its stage. 1,5 English language tour, very relaxing and enjoyable walk through history of the most famous Opera house in the World. ‘Phantom of the Opera’ musical famous all around the world inspired by Opera Garnier paid tribute to this iconic testament by featuring phantom who lives in Paris Opera. I watched this fabulous show 3 times unfortunately not in Paris Opera. Opera Garnier is glorious architectural masterpiece, timeless French legacy.
Thomas Andre | Jun 7, 2018
What a fabulous place! No wonder so many other opera houses around the world were styled and designed the same. It is fabulous outside and inside with great acoustics. There is even an outside contemporary bar with modern music which just embraces new styles. Brilliant place. A must visit.
Mark Doctoroff | May 17, 2018
When built, about 150 years ago [it took about 15 years to build], it was the most expensive and opulent. It is named for the architect, who also designed the 7 ton chandelier. In addition, its fame was increased when it was the model for the "Phantom of the Opera"!! One can take a guided or unguided tour of this very impressive building [which seats about 2,000 people]-- with interesting features both on the inside and the exterior. In addition to housing the Opera it also houses [more frequently now] the Ballet as well as the Paris Opera-Ballet Museum and Library [the latter is managed by the French National Library! I hope that this Review has been helpful!
MEILIANA SINTARAGA | Jun 22, 2018
The experience is really magical. I would recommend for anyone to take the group tour versus the self tour. The entire place is really dedicated the Opera and the public who enjoys, appreciated Opera, and art. It's almost breathtaking and the admiration just doesn't stop. Charles Garnier the designer to the Opera House, you just need to take advantage of the entire tour with the group.
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