Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Palais Garnier Opera House

Our first evening in Paris we took a tour of the Palais Garnier, the world's most famous opera house. It was the setting for Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel, The Phantom of the Opera. We were pretty exhausted with getting off the plane at 8:10 that morning (1am in the morning our time back home) and hitting the ground running all day. But regardless of our jet lag, we were still in awe of such a magnificent building.

Being a huge fan of the The Phantom of the Opera, it was very fascinating to walk through the opera house and take in all of it's glory. Definitely one of  the most spectacular places I have ever visited...

So much detail wherever you looked...

The Grand Foyer 

It was extremely interesting to hear all the history behind Palais Garnier. We learned how the first opera house, the Salle Le Peletier, perished in a fire and how the new opera house, the Palais Garnier, was built and opened it's doors in January 1875. The tour guide told us that there was even a man that really lived, worked for the opera house, and was obsessed with one of the ballet dancers. The girl died in the fire and while trying to rescue her, the man's face was severly burnt. It was believed that while he never was able to get over her, he lived alone underneath Palais Garnier while it was being built and even after it was completed. The owners of the Opera House always left Box 5 open for him to come and see operas and ballets. Of course, it was believed that this man became the inspiration behind the Phantom. 

Josh standing in front of the Phantom's Box 5 

The Grand Staircase 

Unfortunately, the auditorium was closed that day so we weren't able to see inside. But it was still a really cool experience and am so grateful for all we were able to see and hear. It was such a magnificent place! 

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