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Palais Garnier – Paris Opera By Night Art Print

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Five nights in Paris was just a drop of water in the ocean of time needed to explore this grand city. In fact, it was on my last night there that I finally stumbled over the Palais Garnier in person. I had seen its beautiful room from my walks along the Seine but it was not until I was trying to find a metro stop that I literally turned up outside this majestic piece of architecture lit up in the city lights at night in Place de l’Opéra.

I would love to see the Palais Garnier in the full light of day some day as it was absolutely dazzling in the dark of a Paris night! I loved the glow of the street lamps and the shadows cast by pedestrians in the street. There was a true sense of old world Europe on those streets. As tired as I was and I still had to pack, I could not think of turning my back and shuffling down the metro steps.

When it comes to architectural style, the Palais Garnier seems to defy easy categorization. Each authority seems to be confident that it’s Neo-Baroque. No, it’s Beaux Arts. Or maybe it’s Second Empire? I found one source that says it literally defined Napoleon III’s Second Empire Style of architecture. Perhaps each school of architecture wants to claim this gem as their own?

The Palais Garnier was completed in 1875 and served as the primary house for the Paris Opera until 1889 when an even larger Opera house was completed. It’s still a part of the Paris Opera today, mainly used for the ballet.

Have you stood outside the landmark Palais Garnier at night and been dazzled by those city lights as well?


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