The Palais Garnier should be on your list of places to see in Paris. The Opera Garnier was built between 1825-1898 for Napoléon III. The creator of the building was young Charles Garnier an unknown architect who won the anonymous contest.
The Grand Staircase is your first introduction to the Opera house. It is an exquisite piece of engineering marvel built on a base of green marble and supported by 128 balusters of antique red marble. Charles Garnier said it best when he proclaimed, “The opera is the staircase”.
The Grand Foyer was intended to take a stroll, and mingle. It was a place for the wealthy and powerful to be seen.
Above the gold and glitter of the columns, is an impressive ceiling fresco, an allegory of Music is painted by Paul Baudry.
The Chagall mural on the ceiling of the great hall wasn’t added until 1964. André Malraux, former Minister of Cultural Affairs, felt the existing mural wasn’t inspiring so he convinced his friend and beloved artist, Marc Chagall to paint a new one. It drew a lot of attention and brought a sense of renewal upon the Opéra Garnier.
The tour was one of the most interesting tours I took in Paris, the guide was passionate about the architecture, history, and stories of the Opera House. I thought Opera Garnier was the most beautiful building I visited during my month in Paris.