All posts by Thomas Concierge

Opera Garnier is a must while in Paris?

YES IT IS! Being one of the most magnificent buildings in Paris, also full of history, beauty, ballet dancers, opera singers and unique masterpieces Le Palais Garnier is one piece of history in the middle of Paris.

800px-Opera2I, Tetraktys [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Known as one of the most characteristics buildings of the 9th district (9th arrondissement) of Paris, it was Napoleon III who actually ordered its construction to the architect, Charles Garnier, who designed it under the Neo-baroque style.

Inaugurated in 1875, the name remained National Music Academy – Opera Theater until 1978, when it was renamed as “National Opera Theater of Paris”. In 1989 the Opera Company moved to the recently build Bastille Theater and its old placing got the name of Garnier Palace (Palais Garnier), where the National Music Academy remains.
Even they moved from this building, Palais Garnier is still known as Opera de Paris. It is a MUST for the music lovers around the world.

Le_grand_foyer-2By Photograph: Eric Pouhier, Modifier: Rainer Zenz, Niabot (last mod.) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Curious facts, the Palace and the subterranean caves were the places where part of the novel from Gaston Leroux, “The Phantom of the Opera” took place at, also leading to a musical and several movies.

The Rio de Janeiro National Theater was inspired by the lines and forms from Opera Garnier.

The “Phantom Theater”, at the Hotel The Venetian in Las Vegas was build in the likeness of the Opera Garnier.

Maria Antonieta” from Sofia Coppola uses the principal access and majestic stairs en the scene from the masks. Curious part is, Opera Garnier still didn’t exist at Queen’s Maria Antonieta era, and it was only finished at 1875.

The 2nd Theater of Victory of Valparaiso, Chile, was build in 1886, inspired by Opera Garnier, being a smaller version of it. Shamefully, it was destroyed by an earthquake on August 16th, 1906.

800px-Academie_Nationale_de_Musique_(8735055339) By Juanedc from Zaragoza, España (Academie Nationale de Musique Uploaded by juanedc) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Now, if you would like the “ultimate ride” at the Opera  Garnier, but you still can’t travel to Paris, this is your best chance on have a trip inside it, were YOU will be the tour guide!

Click on the picture below:

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© 2014 Google
@ Opera Garnier
GIFT SHOPS AND BOOKSHOPS

. You can reach the Palais Garnier’s bookshop/gift shop from Rue Halévy or the theatre’s public areas every day from 10 am to 6.30 pm and until the end of performances on days when they take place. Information: 01 53 43 03 97
. The online shop: boutique.operadeparis.fr

THE RESTAURANT

Enjoy a meal by the starred chef Christophe Aribert in a décor designed by architect Odile Decq at the Palais Garnier’s Opéra Restaurant. Open every day from 7am to midnight.

Reservations: 01 42 68 86 80 or opera-restaurant.fr

I hope you will have the chance on visiting this iconic and incredible building while in Paris, of course, if you need any help for transport and activities during your trip don’t  hesitate to look around at our site HERE.

What you didn’t know about the Roman Colosseum

1280px-Roman_Coliseum
Picture by Jolove55 (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0-us], via Wikimedia Commons

The Colosseum is an ancient theater located in Rome, maybe the most known and iconic around the world. In the days of the Roman Empire, emperors held public events in it.

Located in the center of Rome, just east of the Roman Forum. Construction started 70 A.D. and took about 9 to 10 years to complete.

531px-L-Kolloseum

The Colosseum is an elliptical amphitheater which could seat up to 50,000 audience members, and had a special Emperor's Box from which the king of Rome himself could witness the shows. 

The Colosseum was used mainly for gladiator tournaments, war reenactments, sea battle plays, and public executions. It also held occasional spectacles such as mock animal hunts, and dramas.

Its height is 157 FT. and its perimeter of 1788 FT. It is the largest amphitheater ever built in Roman empire. It could easily fit a football field inside, 516 FT x 620 FT.

There  were four main floors, each with 80 arches. and it could hold about 50.000 spectators, as mentioned earlier, with seating for nobles and the common man in separated areas.

The central area was 180 FT wide by 287 FT long. It was surrounded by a 15 foot wall with seating above. Below the Colosseum were numerous rooms and tunnels, some of them, housed gladiators and wild animals. Others, contained pulleys, ramps and hand-operated elevators.

BUT, did you know that more than 500,000 people lost their lives and over a million wild animals, like rhinoceroshippopotamuseselephantsgiraffesaurochswisentsBarbary lionspanthersleopardsbearsCaspian tigerscrocodiles and ostriches  were killed through the duration of the Colosseum games: humans vs. animals?

Jean-Léon_Gérôme_-_The_Christian_Martyrs'_Last_Prayer_-_Walters_37113Jean-Léon Gérôme [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Did you know that Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris had an EPIC fight in this iconic attraction on 1972, movie called “The Way of the Dragon“?

The last recorded games were held in the 6th century.

Did you know that International artists have been performing in the Roman Colosseum, like: Elton John, Pink or Paul McCartney (from the show on the picture below)?

Rome_RedRonnie_4Original material © 1997-2014 Kovy Productions. http://bit.ly/1f0iHaQ

Or like Il Divo, from video below?

Did you know that the Roman Colosseum original name was Flavian Amphitheater, after the Flavian Dynasty of Emperors?

096Picture © 2014 The University of Southern California http://bit.ly/1dQiHhx

 Did you know that in 2000, Ridley Scott filmed Gladiator, creating the Colosseum in CGI (computer-generated imagery), getting to re-build it to the glory of its days back in the 2nd century?

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Gladiator, 2000 (Battle Scene) Copyright © 2000 Universal Pictures

Did you know that the Colosseum was build using over 60,000 Jewish slaves., and it only took from 9 to 10 years to be finished?

13-IIIc© Samuel Kurinsky, all rights reserved http://bit.ly/1d4ntde

The Colosseum has survived several earthquakes that caused the south side to collapse as we can see it since then.

Today, the Colosseum is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions, with 3.9 million visitors every year.

roma-pass
Did you know that at the Coliseum a reserved turnstile is available for Roma Pass holders to get direct access to the monument? Roma Pass is included in the Rome ComboPass® Free unlimited use of all the city's public transport network inside Rome + free and direct entry to the first two museums or archaeological sites visited, your choice and more.
OPENING HOURS (ticket office closes one hour before closing time):
from 8:30 am to one hour before sunset (Good Friday 8:30 am - 2 pm, June 2 1:30 pm - 7:15 pm):
8:30 am - 4:30 pm from January 2 to February 15
8:30 am - 5 pm from February 16 to March 15
8:30 am - 5:30 pm from March 16 to last Saturday of March
8:30 am - 7:15 pm from last Sunday of March to August 31
8:30 am - 7 pm from September 1 to September 30
8:30 am - 6:30 pm from October 1 to last sunday of October
8:30 am - 4:30 pm from the last sunday of October to December 31
Closed January 1, December 25

I hope these facts where informative for you, don’t forget if you need entrance tickets or tours for Rome, you can find them HERE.