Although it is world renown for both its opulence and the quality of performances that have taken place there, the Palais Garnier (Paris Opera House) seems to lack an abundance of tourist traffic. However, that works to your benefit. When you get to Paris (because you WILL get there some day) take the time to visit this magnificent building. It is easy to find and, as you will find out later, goes hand-in-hand with the area very close to it.
Built in the mid-1800’s, its name comes from the architect, Charles Garnier. It seats almost 2,000, some in private box suites. The ceiling, repainted in 1964 by Marc Chagall, also holds a 7 ton chandelier. This opera house was the setting for the original novel, The Phantom of the Opera. One of the more famous scenes in that novel was inspired by the death of a member of the audience caused by one of the chandelier’s counterweights falling through the ceiling.
Another very well known, yet somewhat macabre, tourist haunt (yep, pun intended) is the Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise (Pere Lachaise Cemetery). Within its confines, of 100+ acres, some 70,000 souls reside, including the famous and almost famous. Possibly one of the most photographed monuments would be that of Jim Morrison (The Doors) but I sought out someone at least as well known, but perhaps less frequented – Polish composer Frédéric Chopin. And, just for an added twist, his body lies here, but his heart, quite literally, lies in Warsaw in an urn in a church column.
The things you never thought you’d learn from a vacation blog…