Palais Garnier ~ Opéra

By: Sofia Stuart

The Beginning...

The Palais Garnier opened on January 5th, 1875. They started building it in 1862 and finished in 1875.

People Watching

In most Opera houses around the world, they are designed for people watching. The grand staircase and most of all the other staircases in the building were made so that people could see what other people were wearing and what expensive jewelry they had on.

Banks Everywhere

When rich people go to the Opera they would stop by the banks to get their expensive jewelry from their private vaults and the banks would close late so the people could go return their jewelry.

More People Watching and Tomatoes

At the very top of the Opera in the audience section (so the top tier). The middle classmen would get these seats only to see what the rich and wealthy were wearing below in the audience. These seats weren't even in view of the stage. So whoever was sitting there wasn't able to see what performance was going on. When the middle classmen saw famous people they didn't like below they would actually throw spoiled food at them. Eventually chicken wire was added and the top tier was nicknamed "the Chicken Coup".


While building the building they noticed that they were building it on a swamp. It took 8 months to drain it, but the water kept coming back. So now in the basement you can go to an underground lake.

About the Building...

In the audience it can fit about 2,200 people and on the stage there can be about 450 people. The central chandelier is 6 ton. You can go to an underground lake and there is hidden passageways within the building.

Exact measurements

The stage was built with 118,404 square feet. It was 185 feet high, 568 feet long, and 333 feet wide. It took 13 painters, 73 sculptors, and 14 plasterers and stucco specialists to complete the artwork.