The theme for this post is dark and intricate spaces. The Cathédral de Notre Dame and Opéra de Paris are both gorgeous, elaborate, and historic buildings, with very similar features. Each sights have high ceilings, gold trim, and detailed sculptures throughout – even gargoyles! You could sit on a bench and stare up at the complex detailed architecture for hours, always finding new carvings and designs.
Opéra de Paris
The Paris Opera is one of my absolute favorite historic sights in France and ironically is not as crowded as some of the other iconic locations – like the Louvre or Arc de Triomphe. Here, you have a little more elbow room and get to see some pretty extravagant and spectacular things.
What’s also fun about the opera is that sometimes you can catch a free show out on the front steps! Once, when walking by, a whole high school band was playing along to some song, all in formation on the front steps. The crowd cheered, it was really exciting.
With every step inside the opera house, each view became more incredible than the last.
When walking into the performance center, someone was singing a beautiful melody that bounced off the walls and amplified all around the hall. Outfitted to hold almost 2,000 guests, the gaudy gold trim and velvety private booths would make for a nice performance experience indeed.
One of the most amazing things about the Paris Opera was the former drawing room, Le Grand Foyer. Resembling Versaille’s Hall of Mirrors, this room is dripping with 1800’s luxury. Gorgeous lit chandeliers line the room with hand paintings all along the ceilings. I could spend all day just staring at the walls and ceilings!
Our final room was the library, where we found replicas of performance stages, books, program letters, and photographs all documenting the spectacular shows that would take place at the opera.
Tip: There are two opera houses in Paris – don’t get them confused! The Palais Garnier is the historic opera site (where we visited), while the Opera Bastille is the new, modern opera house. If you are hopping in a cab, make sure you specify which one you are going to. We almost ended up at the wrong opera when heading over! Unfortunately, this is a true story.
Click here to get more info for each opera house.
Cathédral de Notre Dame
Before entering into the cathedral, we decided to take a stroll around the grounds to check out the blooming trees and gorgeous flowers. The trees were so full and beautiful!
When walking into the cathedral, a sense of hush and quite immediately comes over you. It might be because of the ‘Silence, Please’ signs everywhere or perhaps the views were so incredible, they take your breath away. Either way, the cathedral is stunning and you find yourself quietly floating around checking out every nook and cranny.
I could not stop staring at the classic, French vaulted ceilings, they were so beautiful, with their high arches and immaculate detail.
There were a few prayer candles scattered around the cathedral, I couldn’t stop staring at their beautiful colors.
Tip: The views from the Towers is supposed to be spectacular. You have to get separate tickets and climb over 350 stairs but it is supposed to be completely worth it. So if you have the time (which we did not) I would put this on your list of things to see!
For Tower Ticket into, click here!