The setting for Phantom of the Opera and the model for opera houses around the world, the neo-Baroque Palais Garnier was built between 1861 and 1875 and suffered many setbacks during its construction, including the discovery of an underground lake. Tour highlights include the Grand Staircase and the horseshoe-shaped auditorium with its famous chandelier: eight tons of bronze and crystal reflecting 340 lights. It hangs from a ceiling painted by Chagall. Audiophone and guided tours in English.
Josephine Baker and Toulouse Lautrec are familiar names irrevocably linked to the cabarets of the Belle Epoque. Going to the Moulin Rouge today is decidedly less risqué than it was 100 years ago and locals seem to prefer the older Folies Bergère, but cabarets continue to bring in large crowds. Duke Ellington and Miles Davis played jazz at Le Caveau de la Huchette and Le Petit Journal which still hosts performances weekly. Jazz developed a gypsy rhythm under the talented fingers of Django Reinhardt whose tunes are played weekly at La Chope des Puces. For a more classical experience, Théâtre de Chatelet stages comedy musicals in English, or attend the ballet, performed under the vibrant colors of Chagall’s ceiling at the Opéra Garnier.