Charles Garnier: Designs for the Paris Opera House Colouring Book - Pack of 1
The opera house in Paris is one of the most famous auditoriums in the world. Designed in 1861 by Charles Garnier, a young, unknown architect, the opera house opened with a lavish gala in January 1875 after many setbacks, including a swampy building site that had to be pumped out continually during construction. Part of the great reconstruction of Paris by Emperor Napoleon III of the Second Empire, the building is in the Neo-Baroque style. It is also classified as Beaux-Arts, and has been the inspiration for many other grand buildings. Built on a three-acre site, it boasts more than seventeen stories and seats an audience of 2,200. Marble friezes, columns, and statuary fill the auditorium, which itself occupies only a fifth of the space. The interior was designed to facilitate social interaction, with landings and alcoves along its stairways and corridors, perfect for conversation during intermission. The building is said to be haunted because in 1896 a counterweight to the massive chandelier fell and killed a member of the audience. Gaston Leroux was inspired by this, as well as the subterranean lake, when he wrote the Phantom of the Opera. The opulent ornamentation and monumental style make the opera house one of the architectural masterpieces of the period. Charles Garnier's design was so beloved that the building came to be called Palais Garnier.