Â The Opera Garnier, built between 1862 and 1875, is a building that always makes me stop and look no matter which direction I happen to see it from. It is so baroque and over the top that it shouldn’t be so appealing but I really do like it. It is now devoted to ballet and a visit to the auditorium, up the splendid steps, gives you a look at the Chagalle ceiling(painted in 1964), worth a trip in itself. The chandelier there weighs six tons and it is easy to imagine the Phantom of the Opera nearby.
It’s hard to get a good photo with all of the people and traffic in front, plus they are doing some sort of work in front too.
Â A look at one corner in the front.
Â A view from the side. I love that crown.
Â Garnier was only 35 when he was selected, in a competition, to build the opera house. The opera was being built at the same time that Haussman was widening streets into the famous boulevards. He loved having a wide boulevard leading up to a monument or building, and the boulevard leading up to the Garnier Opera House is the only one in Paris without trees so that the view isn’t obstructed. Garnier had a horrible time getting it built. No only did they discover a spring and lakeÂ underneath-it is still there-but Napoleon IIIÂ kept cutting his funds. Imagine what it would have been like if he’d have had all of the money he needed! ThereÂ are also some bee hives somewhere up there on the roof and you can buy honey from those hives at the nearby Fauchon store, a mecca for gourmet shoppers.
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