Palais Garnier is a flamboyant and eclectic theatre in Paris, opened in 1875 for the Paris Opera. It revels in excess with its arcades, columns, gilding, cupolas, and winged horses, miles away from the traditional neoclassical edifices fashionable in the second half of the nineteenth century. The entrance to the building already conditions the audience to what is to come. Entering you are welcomed into a world of opulence – first you must pass under the arcades, then cross a low vestibule, like a kind of airlock, before being overcome by the legendary grand staircase. It is possibly the world’s most famous opera, and the setting for Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera. Unmissable!