Built between 1862-1875, its architect was Charles Garnier.
He had been picked from among 171 contestants, and was relatively
unknown although he had won the Rome prize in 1848. He was
only 35 when awarded with the design of the new opera house.
The origins of the idea for a new opera house can be traced
back as far as forty years previous to 1820. When construction
was finally started, it was just as quickly suspended after
the discovery of an underground lake and spring. Although this
problem was overcome, the lake persists and lies beneath the
cellars of the building.
A large building, it has a total area of 11,000 square metres
(118,404 square feet) and a vast stage with room for up to
450 artists. The auditorium itself comprises roughly half of
the total space, most of the rest being used to house necessary
logistical support so that the stage demands of any opera can
be met and even surpassed. This can include live horses running
on a rotating stage. The opera seats only 2,200.
Legend has it that
the Empress Eugénie asked Garnier
whether the building was to be in Greek or Roman style to which
he replied ``It is in the Napoléon III style Madame
!'' It remains an ornate building richly decorated with friezes,
columns, and winged figures among other statues and embellishments.
This richness continues inside with velvet, gold leaf, and
nymphs and cherubs. The auditorium's central chandelier weighs
over six tons, and its ceiling was painted in 1964 by Chagall.
garden Opera, ideally situated in the heart of Paris, for business
or for leisure, a stone's throw from the Republique, the Opera,
the major boulevards and shops and only a few minutes from Sacre-Cur
in paris, Montmartre and the Folies Bergeres.