paris: extras, part one…
Posted in paris, pia's photos August 17th, 2010 by pia

One of the things that I’d been wanting to do for some time  is visit the Opera Garnier. It is such a wonderful old building in Paris (one of many) and I’ve been intrigued by it every time I’ve walked passed, so on this trip back to Paris I thought it about time we go and take a look. It is rather magnificent indeed, and after about 15 minutes of strolling around and viewing all the different rooms, I was starting to feel slightly self-conscious and uncomfortable being there in my cut off jean shorts and birkenstocks. Not for the sake of the other tourists visiting, but for the walls, and floors, and gilded mirrors and chandeliers. It just didn’t seem right to be in this incredible, opulent space as a tourist in the year 2010. Sacrilege was the word that came to mind, and if the walls could talk I would have been apologising to them the entire length of my visit.  What was it like to walk up the stairs in a flowing gown at the turn of the last century? I wondered.

My favourite space though was the library museum, where there are rows of set dioramas for various performances held within the Opera Garnier over the years. They were so completely inspiring, I was mesmerized by the detail and creativity in each scale model…

It is an amazing building,  I won’t say much more as I always like people to discover their own magic when visiting these places, but I recommend a visit there if you are in Paris… just be sure to wear something a little more genteel than I did, you will feel better for it…

« « « Leave a comment » » »


  1. Will says

    Oh, boy. I totally need to visit here when I am next in Paris. As a child growing up I used to play with, and make, model theatres so this would take me right back. The architecture is breathtaking, too.

    August 17th, 2010 | #

  2. Jane says

    What an enchanting place!
    I love the third photo it’s so so magical! And the last one…. those roofs at the top with little balconies, my what wouldn’t you give to live in one..Ah..that’ll be when we win the lottery!

    August 17th, 2010 | #

  3. nadia says

    if only there as away to call this home!

    August 17th, 2010 | #

  4. Joan Browning says

    Oh thank you for sharing this visit with us. how wonderful.

    August 17th, 2010 | #

  5. SoniaM says

    Ohh. Thank-you for such beautiful photos. Is top of my list to visit when next in Paris. Love your book, Paris:Made by Hand.

    August 17th, 2010 | #

  6. Kym says

    oh my. That is so beautiful that it all seems only as real as those dioramas themselves. So elegant. Thank you for sharing those Pia. I was momentarily transported to Paris.

    August 17th, 2010 | #

  7. A Flourishing Perspective says

    I am in love with your blog, and following. 🙂

    This post is absolutely lovely. I have never been to Paris but it is practically my lifelong dream to travel there…and when I do I shall visit the Opera Garnier. It seems breathtaking! And, I shall remember to dress up a bit.

    Hope your day is magical!


    August 17th, 2010 | #

  8. nolita*wanderlust says

    I’ve been there once, it’s absolutely stunning, thank you for posting the beautiful photos 🙂

    August 18th, 2010 | #

  9. Susan Krzywicki says

    That’s such an interesting comment about wearing jeans – living here in San Diego, where no one dresses up, I often think about what sorts of lives we lead, based on clothing. And how California Style immediately implies casual clothing. We look out of sync with older, more elegant buildings.

    August 18th, 2010 | #

  10. Julie says

    Wow that’s amazing! I can see why you would feel like you needed to be dressed according to the space..if only those walls could talk, I’m sure they’ve seen a lot worse than a pair of Birks:)

    August 18th, 2010 | #

  11. Suzi says

    Love the dioramas!

    August 18th, 2010 | #

  12. bonjour says

    Thank you! Always inspires me!
    I bought your new book about Amsterdam.. now looking foward to enjoy it!

    August 18th, 2010 | #

  13. Sweet Freak says

    I am so with you, Pia! My girlfriend and I bought cheap tickets, dressed up, and enjoyed our pre-show champagne and sauntering almost as much as the symphony.

    August 18th, 2010 | #

  14. Firefly says

    Lucky you! And thank you so much for sharing the gorgeous photos! We went to the Opera Garnier when we were in Paris, but for some reason I can’t remember, it was closed to tours at the time. Next visit we will see it or die trying ;-).

    August 18th, 2010 | #

  15. amyjean says

    That is definitely on my list when we visit Paris next year – it looks so beautiful!

    August 19th, 2010 | #

  16. megcowey says

    I, like you, love Paris and all the old buildings which are now public. Your photos are fabulous. Unlike you, it always makes me think “No wonder there was a revolution” !

    August 19th, 2010 | #

  17. Michelle says

    Those dioramas are amazing! Wow. They look like tiny little worlds. I LOVE Paris but only got to spend a week or so there last year – glad you’re enjoying it! 🙂 Someday I’ll to back!

    August 22nd, 2010 | #

  18. Virginia says

    Oh, you’ve been inside. I dream of that. THe last photo is magical for me.

    March 21st, 2011 | #

  19. Joshua SMITH says

    I agree. It is an absolutely beautiful place to visit. I often pass by and every so often I drop in to enjoy it’s beauty. Excellent photos!

    January 18th, 2012 | #

RSS feed for these comments. | TrackBack URI