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lun. 28 mars


Maisons-Laffitte Train Station

Paris Walks : The Palais/Opera Garnier

Come and join us Dr. Kelly Spearman this month's walk through Paris visit the Opera Garnier a Terpsichore’s Temple of opulence, or Victoriana at its’ best!

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Paris Walks : The Palais/Opera Garnier
Paris Walks : The Palais/Opera Garnier

Time & Location

28 mars 2022, 09:00 – 12:45

Maisons-Laffitte Train Station, 78600 Maisons-Laffitte, France

About the Event

The majestic Palais Garnier, emblem of the Second Empire’s taste for

exuberance, is one of the most characteristic examples of Eclectic Architecture,

a style so praised by the Victorian era’s nouveau riche society.

Profusion and rarity of materials, polychromie and gilding, and a

pronounced taste for rich ornamentation create a universe of extravagance,

amalgam of historical references and models in the purest Napoleon III tradition.

By how did this extraordinary temple of Terpsichore come to stand in

what was until then an area of slums and poverty? There may not have ever been

a Phantom larking in the basements but the foundations were constantly

inundated by a long-forgotten underground arm of the Seine! And while the

poor architect was asked to house in a rather limited surface a ballet school,

loggings, endless dressing and rehearsal rooms, decors’ storage space, depots for

costumes and props, administration offices, archives and a library he had to

somehow manage to include a most spectacular Grand Staircase, splendid

vestibules, plunging breathtaking view balconies, fresco covered ceilings, 334

private boxes, not to mention open-air loggias!

Why such waste of precious space given to the public rooms? Because

everyone knew very well that the Opera was not just the universe of eyrie

ballerinas and commanding divas, but where the rich and might of the day

would swarm to see but also to be seen!

The Opera of Paris was the reflection of a society of industrialists,

bankers, ruthless real-estate developers and pitiless businessmen wishing to

impress their beautifully attired wives while showing-off their jewels-covered

mistresses and famous cocottes. The very same ones that would fill-up the

neighboring new department stores, the expensive restaurants, the rooms of the

nearby famous maisons closes and the exclusive salons of the Grand Hôtel de


Further Information:

Price of the tour: 20 Euros

Museum reservation fee 4.5€ 

Reduced Entrance ticket 8€ if we have total 10 ppl or else full price 14€

Suggestion: Enjoy a pre-tour coffee (and a croissant?!) at the counter of the

“Café L’Entracte” (1, rue Auber, 75009), the closest to our meting spot.

Lunch: Participants might like to envisage lunch at the Opera House’s

Restaurant (1, Place Jacques Rouché, 75009).

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