With its grand staircases and other stunning architectures, the Palais Garner opera house in Paris offers more than just operatic shows. This building is in and of itself a marvel. Visitors even say that the grand foyer of the opera house rivals the Hall of Mirrors of the Versailles Palace. Below are five fun facts about the opera house.
The Opera House Was Designed for People Watching
The building, especially its grand staircase, was designed for those who people-watch. This is something which local tour guides say about tourists at the opera. Its balconies and staircases invite people to gaze down on those at the below level or across them. The stairs are extremely shallow at the Palais Garner.
Banks Surrounding the Building Opened Strategically
The people who used to attend the opera were rich. They used to make their intentions clear to others. It is said that they used to pick up jewels from the vaults of banks nearby. Many banks opened in the area to cater to the rich people on their way to the opera and stayed open until late so that customers could return the jewels once the show was over.
The Upper Tier is Nicknamed the “Chicken Coup”
The opera house’s upper tier was mainly reserved for middle-class people. Middle-class groups could not afford the expensive food at the venue so they used to bring their food. Some even used to throw objects towards the aristocratic people who they did not like at the upper tier. To protect them, the opera house put chicken wire around it to catch thrown things, hence the nickname the “chicken coup” tier. The chicken wire is not there today though.
The Building’s Connection to Phantom of the Opera
During its construction, workers stumbled upon a swampy basement that flooded the venue time and again. After several failed attempts to drain out water, Charles Garnier made a large tank to store water and to give stability to the building. Gaston Leroux’s novel was inspired by this underground water and cellars surrounding it.
Parisians Do Not Get Dressed Up at the Opera
In a building this big and grandiose, even a gown would look all right. At least, that is the perception of native visitors. Talk to your Paris tour guide or a local friend to know the best dress to wear to the opera. Most likely, you will get an answer in the affirmative to this observation.