In 1858, the Emperor Napoleon III of France gave an order that a new building dedicated to the art of Opera would be built in Paris. The
new Opera House would be the envy of the world. It would be a building not only for performances of opera, but a center for upper-class
society, a place where the rich and well-to-do could congregate and preen. Charles Garnier, a relatively unknown young man, was chosen among 700 architects competing to create the new theatre. Taking on the project with youthful audacity, Garnier proposed to create a
monumental building that would be a true temple to the Renaissance, built using modern construction techniques.
Teacher Resource Guide