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Palais Garnier

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A Phantom Visit of Wonder

Published by Kaelin Priger — 3 years ago

Last summer, I ventured to Paris, France for the very first time. The blocks of cream-colored buildings that come to a point on each street corner were exactly as they look in pictures, and I was amazed at the relaxed pace of life and the abundance of history that I had only ever read about in books. We stayed in an Airbnb near one of the major train stations and walked or took the metro to all of the breath-taking sites.

On one of our days out in this gorgeous city, we realized that there was a historical site that had not made it onto our agenda for some reason.

The Palais Garnier.

As a HUGE fan of Phantom of the Opera (both the book and the movie), I was jumping-up-and-down excited to see the opera house where it all started.

We made our way to the side entrance of the opera house and bought our tickets. Grabbing an audio guide, we set out to explore this gigantic structure.


We started out in the vast halls and lobbies surrounding the theater. Each hall was gorgeous, with magical paintings and architecture that made me feel as though I had stepped foot into a fairy land. The entire Palais Garnier was not made to just house a play; it was made to house an experience. Rooms where people could stroll, eat ice cream, and network with their peers were decorated to give the entire building a sense of magic and other-worldliness. The ceilings were painted with golden stars and swirls, and huge statues guarded the main door to the theater. The audio guide was a great decision, as it explained a lot about the architect and the ideas that went into this amazing building.

As a fan of Phantom, I was quick to want to see "his box". Sure enough, we were able to find the door to a box that was labelled as the one that the Phantom used in the book and movie to watch the opera! We even learned that in real life, a counter weight from the chandelier did fall once-upon-a-time, killing a member of the audience. This was used as part of the inspiration for the falling of the chandelier in the book, and then film.

A Phantom Visit of Wonder As we strolled around the hallways that led to the many boxes of the opera house, we passed tons of huge busts of famous people, yet another example of the amazing art housed within the opera house.

One of the greatest sights of the opera house was the domed ceiling. The original artwork is currently covered by a masterpiece by Marc Chagall. The bright colors cast a stark contrast with the architecture, but add to the beauty and the mystery of the entire theater. And there's that chandelier!

A Phantom Visit of Wonder The Palais Garnier ended up being one of my favorite parts of Paris. A must-see, it will enthrall you with history, architecture, and mystery. Enjoy!

A Phantom Visit of Wonder

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