I couldn't wait any longer to unveil this wonderful palace to you, because in fact I was so amazed that I absolutely wanted to share this discovery.
And for those who have visited it before, I hope you will enjoy seeing it again from all angles.
You are familiar with my interest in architecture and art, just remember some of my previous articles:
As I told you in my last article Honeymoon 2, the Garnier Opera house was one of my dreams.
I’ve already visited magnificent opera houses such as Sydney, Madrid, or the Royal Opera House in London, which I told you about in my article Happy New Year 2020, but the Palais Garnier opens the doors to Parisian splendour and French elegance ...
Have you deciphered the words hidden on the ceiling medallion (photo above)?
“JEAN LOUIS CHARLES GARNIER ARCHITECT 1861-1875”.
And yes, he’s the one who gave his name to this building.
It was completed in 1875 following a competition organised by Napoleon III, after the old opera house Le Peletier was destroyed in a fire.
Garnier Palace is one of the emblematic monuments of Paris.
After passing the Rotonde des abonnés and the Bassin de la Pythie, let us be enchanted by the grandiose and luxurious atmosphere of the Grand staircase.
With a little imagination, we can easily imagine ourselves in a ceremonial outfit, we’re transported to the 19th century ...
An eclectic architecture that combines modern techniques and classic decoration. The whole structure, frames and beams are in metal, which is camouflaged with a lot of stucco, plaster, stone, paintings, gilding, onyx, copper, and marble! No less than 3 different marbles for this majestic staircase.
So many corridors, we don't always know where they lead to, but we gladly wander, and we often stop to admire the little details ...
Meeting with the other spectators before the performance, in the Avant-foyer, enhanced with multiple ceramics and gilded chandeliers.
Then, we finally find our loge, and we discover the auditorium located in the very heart of the palace.
Admittedly, this is no longer the original ceiling painted by Lenepveu, Napoleon III's favourite painter, but a creation by Marc Chagall designed in 1964 at the request of André Malraux, Minister of Cultural Affairs at the time. It represents the history of the arts of opera and dance.
The first painting, however, is safely stored underneath.
The chandelier is 16 feet high with a diameter of 13ft and weighs 6.5 tons. It reminds me of the magnificent chandelier in the Radio City Hall in New York.
An impressive room 102 feet wide, 105 ft deep and 66ft high to accommodate nearly 2,000 seats.
We cannot remain indifferent to such a creation ...
But this is the intermission, let's stop for a few moments to say hello to our friends in the splendid Grand foyer and its adjoining salons, it feels like being in Versailles, surrounded by gold and mirrors ...
Let's get my glass of champagne in the Rotonde du Glacier before the show restarts, does anyone want something else: coffee, orangeade, pastries?
It's hard to imagine that above this magnificent painted ceiling hides a dance studio, and yet...
Let's finish with the palace library and museum, 600,000 preserved documents, scores, photos, sketches, letters and no less than 100,000 books. But also 8,500 objects including paintings, set models and stage jewels...
From inside to out, Charles Garnier meticulously designed and planned everything.
He chose all the craftsmen himself: painters, mosaicists, and sculptors. An eclectic and very rich decoration for an opulent but nevertheless elegant result.
If you use the multimedia guide for the visit, he'll explain himself all the mysteries of his work.
This interactive tablet is really complete, you sometimes seem weird pointing your tablet at the ceiling, but it's definitely worth a look.
You'll thus discover certain places that are not accessible to the public, such as the dance studio above the Rotonde du Glacier, the Foyer de la Danse which is behind the stage, or the costume room where the tutus are stored !
I didn’t buy anything at the gift shop even though several ballerinas wanted to be adopted ... So cute!
Next time I’ll go to see the magnificent Paris Opera Ballet, there’s no doubt I’ll feel the presence of the architect all around me!
“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others. " Salvador Dali
Love & Joy,