France
Paris 01 Ancien - Quartier Place-Vendôme

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  • Day28

    Oct 17 - Palais Garnier

    October 17, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Our mission for today was to tour the Palais Garnier. It is a 1,979-seat opera house and one of the Paris National Opera's two home venues in the city along with Opéra Bastille. It was built from 1861 to 1875 upon a commission of Emperor Napoleon III. The venue soon became known as the Palais Garnier, "in acknowledgment of its extraordinary opulence" and the architect Charles Garnier's plans and designs, which are representative of the Napoleon III style. The Paris National Opera now uses the Palais Garnier mainly for ballet.

    The Palais Garnier is probably the most famous opera house in the world. This is at least partly due to its use as the setting for Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera and to the popularity of subsequent film and stage adaptations. Another contributing factor is that among the buildings constructed in Paris during the Second Empire, besides being the most expensive, it has been described as the only one that is "unquestionably a masterpiece of the first rank.” Its theatre is considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful theatres.

    I had arranged for us to go on a guided tour so we could get all the behind-the-scene stories. Our guide was Nicholas who ably led us on a 1.5 hour tour of discovery. This place is a bedazzled, opulent, eclectic, allegorical, over-the-top, giddy mix of ornate styles. The main purpose for the building was not to satisfy artistic reasons, but for the incredibly rich and idle to be seen several times a week at the opera. They, in essence, were the actors and actresses in an ever-changing story of lust, intrigue, influence and power. The emperor had his own personal entrance where his carriage could enter the building and ensure his safety from the lower class, disenchanted citizens. The grand staircase allowed the rich to parade in dressed in elegant costumes that were made specially for opera nights. The Salon, originally intended as a smoking room for men only until women demanded access at the building’s opening, is a long gallery filled with fabulous mosaic floors and an ornate ceiling featuring themes from the history of music. The opera auditorium is a sea of red velvet, gold paint, stucco and marble. The bronze and crystal chandelier which did NOT fall down (although a counter weight did kill a concierge) is a magnificent piece of art. It hangs below a ceiling (installed on a removable frame) designed and painted by Marc Chagall. The original ceiling, painted by Jules Lepenveu, still exists but is hidden from view. The entire Arc de Triomphe would fit onto the stage so huge, bold productions could be presented. The place is a wonder to see - put it on your list of things to do if you are ever in Paris.
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  • Day6

    Église de la Madeleine

    September 26, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Yet another unbelievable church. This one took over a 100 years to complete. Just the main statue took the artist 22 years to complete.

    Crazy to think most people who planned these old buildings never saw it completed. I can't even imagine in this day and age to tackle a project that I know will out life me and I will have to pass down to the next generation.

    This church building project not only out lived its architects but also 5 different French leaders who each wanted to change the building plans for their own benefit.

    These old buildings are constantly under restoration, this is a sign of a first world country, doesn't matter how old something is they try to keep it in good working condition. In the 3rd world we just don't give a damn if things goes into disrepair. They wind up to be tourist attractions anyway right, just not as buildings but as ruins like in Mexico, Cambodia etc.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day8

    Maison du Chocolat

    November 17, 2016 in France ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Yummmmm.
    They gave us a free sample of a caviar vodka chocolate. I actually liked it... but I think I might have been the only one in our group that did. Lol

  • Day5

    Opera House

    April 19, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    We got to see the famous Paris opera house. The setting of the "Phantom of the Opera".

  • Day3

    La Madleine

    November 28, 2018 in France ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

    Continuiamo la nostra camminata fino all'Opera e poi fino alla Madleine. Una chiesa imponente, quasi un tempio greco. L'interno è parecchio buia e tetra, ma con belle statue in marmo bianco.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Paris 01 Ancien - Quartier Place-Vendôme, Paris 01 Ancien - Quartier Place-Vendome, Place Vendôme

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