Meet your guide at the Opera Garnier (aka the Palais Garnier) and head inside for a tour of Paris' principle opera house. Built by Charles Garnier in 1861 at the request of Napoleon III, the Opera Garnier is one of the largest and most famous opera houses in Europe. It hosts highly acclaimed performers and boasts bold baroque architecture, opulent grandeur and intricate décor that continues to captivate visitors.
Wander through the plush, mirror-walled Members’ Rotunda and continue to the grand marble staircase lined with imposing bronze statues of Greek gods. Enter the cavernous 2,000-seat theater full of red velvet seats and alabaster cherubs high on the walls and imagine the scene of grandeur in the late 19th century. An enormous chandelier dominates the stage, glittering over the auditorium below. Then head to the Grand Foyer, where audiences mingle during intervals.
Learn about the history of the opera house, listen as your guide points out interesting details, and hear of the world-famous operas, such as La Traviata, that have been featured here. You’ll also hear how the Opera Garnier served as inspiration for the legendary play, The Phantom of the Opera.
Following your Opera Garnier tour, walk to the nearby Fragonard museum (Fragonard Musée du Parfum), built during the same period as the opera house by a student of Charles Garnier. The museum is home to one of the largest collections of perfume-related objets d’art in the world, with more than 3,000 years of perfume history on display.
See perfume bottles and vaporizers of all shapes and sizes, demonstrating the talents and imagination of glass blowers and artisans over the centuries. Pretty ceilings, romantic stuccos and shimmering chandeliers line your walk through the museum, ending in the perfume showroom, where you can browse fragrances galore and purchase any you please.