October 2, 2013

The secrets of Opera Garnier, Paris

Opera Garnier is well-known not just for its plays and performances but for its deep history  in France. I won't go into details of the history as I am sure you can find it elsewhere. Rockstar and I had the opportunity to visit this beautiful place when we were in Paris. It was quite a last minute choice and since we had to check out by noon, we rushed over and got ourselves booked for a free tour in the morning via the Paris Pass. No regrets!!! It was one of the best thing we did there and its worth the time, money and effort. We learned so much more about France history in just that mere 1-2 hour/s of tour. 

I won't be able to tell you how magnificence this place is, nor describe how opulence it is or even show you how much richness this place oozes out. All I can do is just post some pictures which could never capture the true essence of this place but will suffice for now. 

The ceiling of the lower level

The Lobby
The Lobby
The grand staircase where people ascent up and socialise while waiting for the play to begin
The stairways heading up and down

Inside the theater hall
The boxes where the wealthier people sits
The grotesque ceiling of the theater hall. It has a very interesting story to it.  About artists and love and passion. 
Ceiling of another room. (Can't recall which one)
Ceiling of the room where men came to talk and smoke during intermission. Women not allowed. 
Gold inlaid pillars
The tour group I was in listening attentively to our very good tour guide
It has another interesting story behind this but for the life of me, I can't recall it too. *sigh*
Our tour guide provided lots of interesting anecdotes and stories while she showed us around. If you are ever in Paris and is considering this, I would highly recommend that you DO NOT miss this. Also, please pay for this guided tour. Definitely worth it. 

The most interesting and mysterious part. Our tour guide told the story about the Phantom of the Opera and showed us his reserved box. Sadly it was locked, or I would have searched for the secret door :p If time permits and if there were no restrictions, I would have walked the entire place looking/ searching for hidden doors and secret lovers. 

As we left the place, I looked back and Opera Garnier seemed to mock me - Rich and bright yet mysterious and secretive at the same time. I wondered what other secrets it holds in its basement and in its dark boxes. 

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