Opéra Garnier

A symbol of the dance and opera, the Palais Garnier is a remarkable example of theatrical architecture.

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L'Opéra Garnier, à deux pas de l'Hôtel Mansart


A symbol of the dance and opera, the Palais Garnier is at the heart of the Haussmann district and is a remarkable example of theatrical architecture. The Hôtel Mansart invites you to go behind the scenes of the opera.

The Palais Garnier, which was long known as "the Paris Opera House", took the name of its founder when the more contemporary opera house was opened at Place de la Bastille. This splendid building was listed as an Historic Monument in 1923.

The history of Palais Garnier

The construction of the Palais Garnier was decided by Napoleon III, who wanted to redevelop the business district and take advantage of the work to build a grandiose and much safer opera house to replace Le Peletier. The venue was too small in Napoleon's view, and was not considered as a safe place following the assassination of the Duke of Berryin 1820. Baron Haussmann chose the location according to the direct access to the royal palace along an  "avenue de l’opéra" built with this in mind. At the same time, an architecture competition was launched in 1860 to choose the best builder for the project. Viollet-le-Duc, known for his restoration work on Notre Dame Cathedral was favourite to win, but Charles Garnier, who was still unknown, won the competition. The construction of the Palais Garnier lasted for 15 years. From the beginning, the project was delayed as studies revealed groundwater underneath the building. In 1869, work was interrupted by war with Prussia. A year later Le Peletier was burned down, which relaunched work on the Garnier opera house. In 1875, the new opera house was inaugurated and met with great success.

A marvel of architecture

Considered as a model of theatrical architecture, the Palais Garnier is remarkable from the outside with its façade, sculptures, and the view from the roofs. At the Hôtel Mansart, we also invite you to visit the masterpieces inside the opera house. First of all, the large staircase by Charles Garnier, with its marble columns and the sculpture of Oracle of Delphi by the Duchess of Castiglione Colonna. Next, the foyer with the galleries inlaid with gold and mosaics, the rotundas with their red marble columns for the the season-ticket holders, the library-museum, corresponding to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and finally the auditorium, richly decorated with noble materials, with the ceiling painted by Marc Chagall. Commissioned in 1962 by André Malraux, this is a gigantic canvas covering over 200 m2. The ceiling is divided into different sections and pays homage to famous musicians. For example, red represents Ravel and Stravinsky, blue is for Mozart and green for Wagner.

It is possible to visit the Opéra Garnier.

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