Palais Garnier in Paris

Europe - Editor - 01 September 2009

Palais Garnier in Paris

For Charles Garnier, the designing of the Palais Garnier would cement his name into the history of Paris and the world of architecture. This magnificent opera house has been studied by future generations and inspired architects that have followed him. When Napoleon III requested designs for the opera house in 1858, a competition was sparked, but Garnier’s design overshadowed those of more than a hundred and seventy others, and was unanimously chosen for the construction. Today, the Palais Garnier is a wonderful attraction in Paris, which still inspires and leaves visitors astounded by its beauty.

Garnier’s vision, which is referred to as a Neo-Baroque style, got under way in 1861. A few setbacks, such as the war and the discovery of a water table, saw to it that the project lasted sixteen years. Despite the difficulties, it has become one of the most celebrated architectural masterpieces. The Palais Garnier was inaugurated in 1875, and each detail of the construction and the inaugural ceremony was overseen by Charles Garnier.

Visitors to the Palais Garnier will be completely stunned at the size and the detailed decorations in the opera house. Even though it was meant for stage productions, it was also commissioned to serve as a venue for meetings, festivities and for hosting the elite. The opera house can seat approximately two thousand two hundred individuals, has a lavish stage and can accommodate a maximum of four hundred and fifty artists at a time. One of the main features of the opera house is the massive chandelier that hangs overhead and weighs a staggering six or more tons. As the opera house was also constructed to entertain outside of stage performances, the rest of the building consists of huge halls, elegant foyers, lavish staircases and breathtaking rotundas. Bronze busts of legendary musicians as well as marble friezes, statues, elegant columns and golf leaf finishes complete the artistic decorations within the structure. The Palais Garnier is not only a historical attraction, but a monument to architecture and the creativity of Charles Garnier and those who contributed to the magnificence of his astounding opera house.


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