For us, it’s always a pleasure to visit the Garnier Opera house in Paris!

Named before ‘Opera house of Paris’, the Garnier Opera house was inaugurated in 1875. This Opera house owes its name to its architect, Charles Garnier. The Palais Garnier is listed historical monument since 1923, and be part of the golden triangle of Paris.


Let’s discover secrets and stories about the Garnier Opera house:

  • This is the Emperor Napoléon the third who decided to build the Garnier Opera house. In fact, after the fire of the precedent Opera house Le Peletier, he decided to create an Opera house more safe with this private entrée. However, Napoléon the third never saw it, because he died before the end of the construction.
  • At this time, people came at the Opera house in carriage and evening attire was mandatory. Mens wore a suit with top hat and a pocket watch. Women wore somptuous dresses and jewels.
  • Haussmann’ department stores and the ‘Bon Marché’ were next door to the Opera house for the fashion.
  • Guests of Opera house went to banks next door to the Opera to pick up their jewels in their strong box, for the evening.
  • Louis XIV founded the Royal Academy of Dance in this time, he invented the ballet and played the role of the Sun King in 1661.
  • In 1828, this is the liberalisation of the tutu for women ; in 1880, they fully show their legs, it was a revolution for the era!
  • At the request of André Malraux, a French Minister, Marc Chagall painted the dome of Garnier Opera house.
  • The ‘corps de ballet’ has 154 dancers
  • The Opera house is 5000m², he has 14 floors and 7 rehearsal rooms!
  • The expression ‘Opera house little rats’ (child ballet students) come from a fact: we heard little girls who walked in the Opera house, as the sound of rats when they walk!
  • Finally, what is an opéra ? It is a sung story!

We recommend you to visit Garnier Opéra house with the formidable guide named Rita de Cloe, who will tell you more secrets and stories about it!

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By Bénédicte Le Bihan Bénédicte-Epykomène-Epyblog