Friday, January 29, 2010

The Little American Visits The Opera House & La Conciergerie

bonne journée à vous tous une fois encore d'après le peu américaine! This morning, my parents are taking me to visit the Palais Garnier commonly known as the old Paris Opera House which was built in the late 1800s during the Second empire of Napoleon III. My parents both love the musical Phantom of the Opera which was fashioned after the original fiction created by a French journalist & author named Gaston Leroux. Daddy explained that the author was inspired by an actual event that occurred in 1896 when one of the counter weights for the theater chandelier fell and killed someone below. In addition, the cave-like subterranean lake that serves as the Phantom's home actually exists below the Opera.

So, these very steps were used by lovers of the opera in the 19th century. Here I am in the 21st Century, totally amazed by the artistry of the past.

Daddy couldn't stop laughing when he captured this pose. Papa says I look adorable. But, Daddy suspects I will make him delete this picture and any copies when I'm older.

The grand lobby staircase inside the opera house.

There again sits moi, atop the very same staircase taking in all the wonderfully intricate ornamentation. L'amore l'amore! No wonder my parents love it here.

Voila! The beautiful gilded and multi-chandeliered foyer at the opera house.

Daddy and Iwould love to create a tablescape in this room.

An amazing ornate fireplace at one end of the grand foyer.

Daddy took these photos of theater from one of the private balcony booths. I got us in trouble when I slammed the door shut after we exited locking the door. A nearby docent had to come and re-open it for other visitors waiting to take a peek inside. Needless to say, I was put on a time out shortly after. How many kids can say they were given a time out at the famous old Paris Opera house?

The ceiling was repainted byRussian-French Artist, Marc Chagall in 1964.

There was an actual opera rehearsal taking place on that morning.

The workmanship is just unbelievable up close.

The theater seats 2,200.

I just had to step outside onto the second floor balcony for some oxygen after my breath was taken away from the beauty in the Opera (and running up and down the foyer) . I couldn't believe what I had just seen. I was too excited after this much exposure to art and history to think about napping . Daddy said not to worry, he would make sure this exploration did not keep me from getting his my rest.

It began to drizzle a bit after my nap time, so I suited up in old yellow with umbrella in hand and marched off to our nearest underground metro to La Conciergerie where Daddy said one of France's most famous Queens, Marie Antoinette, was imprisoned and lived until her execution.

The exterior of the Conciergerie.

This used to be the kitchen for the Conciergerie palace.

I think it makes the perfect playground for running....

and hiding indoors on a rainy afternoon like today.

Like the kitchen, the rest of the museum did not have a lot of furniture or colorful and shiny things that looked breakable or important which is why I didn't understand why my parents still insisted I behaved quietly.

These are mannequins used to portray aristocrats that were imprisoned in some of the cells inside the Conciergerie.

The wealthier you were, the more privacy you were given to read,write and sleep.

My parents were saddened by much of this tour. They became especially sad when we arrived at the cell of Marie Antoinette. Her life story has captivated the both of them and the scene brought to life a history they have studied for years. I wondered why she didn't ask if she could stay in the kitchen since it was empty with lots of room to run around. Yes, Daddy was upset because I wouldn't stop talking about going back to the kitchen and play. I hope we go back there after this.

These are 2 soldiers that stood guard over Marie Antoinette in her cell.

Papa thought I was being reflective when he saw me doing this, but Daddy knew I was just getting impatient and wanting to move on.

After the Conciergerie, Papa insisted we visit the Sainte Chapelle next door which he thought would really impress me with all the beautiful stained glass work.

I must say he was right! It really did put a smile back on my face. I was giggling with laughter from the beautiful prisms filling the room and tickling my face.

I couldn't stop smiling even after we exited the chapel. Especially because I knew what was next...dinner time!!!! Well, that's it for today's adventure. Thanks again for joining me on this tour. I'm looking forward to sharing our next trip which is to the Carnavalet & Archives Nationales Museums in the city's Marais district. à toute à l'heure from the Little American!


Janie's World said...

Wow, the beauty you experienced that day was enough to last a life time! I could kick myself that I did not go in the Opera House when I sat on the steps for more than an hour waiting for a bus a couple of years ago. My teenage daughters were worn out and did not want to go, I should have gone by myself. St.
Chappell is one of my all time favorite churches. Beautiful does not come close to describing it. You are adorable and a good story teller.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

You have visited my absolute favorite spot in all of Paris! I am one of the few people on earth that actually believe Palais Garnier is even more beautiful than Versailles. It's like walking through a grand faery tale.

I have never been to Conciergerie, though I always mean to. Now you have inspired me to make a visit next holiday!

You are seeing so many exciting things on your visit to Paris - such a lucky boy!

And don't let your daddy delete that wonderful photo - every jeune petit Américain should be allowed to have ONE Rita Hayworth photo!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through Decorati Access and am so glad I did. I have spent over an hour reading and enjoying all the photos of the little american boys trip to paris which has been alot of fun. I have always wanted to visit paris and now your little guy has made this desire a mission now.

HB in Ohio

ArchitectDesign™ said...

The paris opera house blew me away -completely -so much more so in person than in photographs. Unfortunately there was a rehearsel going on and I wasn't able to see the actual theater itself - my whole reason for going into the building was to see the chagall! LOL oh well -it was still totally amazing and I justhave a reason to go back now: perhaps for a performance!

prashant said...

Chappell is one of my all time favorite churches.

Work from home India

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Beautiful photos, and how cute he is in that little rain slicker and big umbrella! laurie

Pigtown-Design said...

Excellent! and what a cutie pie!


Chris said...

Do you not LOVE the Opera house? When I went to Paris in 99 the Opera was almost an afterthought, and then we just stayed and stayed! There was so much that met the eye.

More info here for me to note and research for the trip. love it.