Paris (part 5)

Sadly this is the last post from Paris. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings about it. This was our last day and we didn’t want to go too far from where we were staying, so we headed down the Boulevard Haussmann to Garnier’s Opera House. Under the rule of Napoleon after the French revolution, Paris underwent many changes. Mainly that Haussmann was commissioned to form a new plan for the city of Paris. He created wide boulevards and essentially designed Paris as we know it today. Napoleon also wanted Paris to be known as the centre of the artistic world, so he commissioned Garnier to design an Opera House to compete with all the others and enforce Paris as being centre of the arts. The product is something rather spectacular. The Opera House is dominating, ornate, and fantastic.

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The Opera House was a place designed to see and be seen. More space is dedicated to public interaction than to the auditorium. It features huge, magnificent halls, reminiscent of those in Versailles. It is astounding to think of how much money this must have cost.

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Many important and influential performances were held here. Particularly the Ballet Russes in the 1920s, which featured the works of countless artists and composers such as Picasso, Stravisky, Leon Bakst and Debussy. The ceiling of the auditorium is done by the Russian painter Marc Chagall. It is colourful, lively, and fantastic. Contrasting the older more opulent decor of the rest of the Opera House, whilst complimenting it at the same time.

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