The Opera Garnier is emblematic of the Haussmannian style situated in the center of Paris. Inaugurated in 1875 by Napoléon III, it dominates the avenue de l’Opéra, commanding respect with its impressive architecture, beauty, and gilded details shining out in all seasons. It attracts spectators from Paris and afar to admire and listen to great classical works and world-famous talents. Even if you are not lucky enough to have reservations for a performance or simply to drink in the beauty of the place, the Opera Garnier is open to the public during the day and is well worth the visit!
An architectural masterpiece
The Garnier Opera is an icon in Paris’ 9th arrondissement and is not to be missed if one is in the neighborhood. As soon as one comes out of the metro one is struck by this colossal monument with its elegant arcades. You will be mesmerized and then dazzled by its height, it’s greyish green dome, and its characteristic gilded statues. Majestic, the facade itself is a work of ornamental beauty in itself. Charles Garnier, the architect of the Opera was only 35 years old and completely unknown to the public when he was commissioned for this impressive project! He was influenced by various styles, but it is above all the Baroque touch that predominates, with its sculpted stone and wealth of details which recalls the style of Italian theaters.
Once inside, prepare to be dazzled
The interior of this magical place will not disappoint… The marble staircases, the columns and balconies bathed in the light of chandeliers, alone will transport you into another time. The vaulted ceilings painted in trompe l’oeil present the works of the great 19th century painters. Each detail is an invitation to a dream-world. One has the impression that one has fallen into Beauty and the Beast’s castle, and yet we are in the middle of Paris!
Operas are performed within the U-shaped auditorium. Impressively high, acoustically perfect, it seats 1,900 spectators. The decor, a profusion of gold leafing and red velvet fills the spectator with the thrill of anticipation.
What to do in the neighborhood?
It goes without saying that a foray into the neighborhood of the Opera is the perfect opportunity to combine touring with shopping. Directly opposite Opera is Lancel, the quintessential stop for chic French leather goods and handbags. All the main brands have their stores here but if you are looking for something more original than Apple or Zara try Fragonard (5, rue Boudreau, 75009) which is the place for the delicate perfumes and scented soaps for which it is renowned
Where to stay?
It makes sense to stay in the vicinity thus avoiding other more congested areas. Ideally situated, two steps from Gare du Nord and minutes by foot to the « Grands Boulevards », you will appreciate the Hotel Le Rocroy Paris with its clean and colorful design and warm, laid-back atmosphere. We like the generous breakfast, its friendly team and the Piano, pool table and flat screen in the lobby all of which contributes to the overall convivial atmosphere. An ideal location from which to reach the Opera Garnier and Grands Boulevards by foot.
Opera Garnier :
On the corner of rue Scribe et Auber, 75009 Paris
Métro: Opéra, lines n° 3, 7, 8
RER : station : Auber, lines A
Bus : lines 20, 21, 22, 27, 29, 42,52, 53, 66, 68, 81, 95
For information and performance schedules : ici.