For this week’s photo challenge, I have chosen the Palais Garnier as my masterpiece. This is quite personal to me though I’m sure there are others out there who would agree with its masterpiece status. Having been a fan of The Phantom of the Opera since I was seven years old, it has been a long-held ambition of mine to visit this truly unique building. I visited Paris in 2006 for the first – and so far only – time. I was devastated to discover on the day of my visit the Opera Garnier was closed! P did tour the opera house in my honour five years later, but I have yet to actually set foot in the building.
Why is it a masterpiece? It took 15 years to build after being interrupted by such unimportant events as the Franco-Prussian war, the Paris Commune and the fall of France’s second empire. Upon completion in 1875 it was one of the largest theatre venues in the world encompassing 120,000 square feet. The grand staircase is 30m (98 feet) high and seven storeys of the building are actually underground. There’s a subterranean lake below the building which catfish live in and randomly, they keep bees on the roof. You can buy the honey in the gift shop. 🙂 Mainly, I just think it’s absolutely stunning. Really hope I can see inside one day.