A One Way Ticket To Paris, Please – Day 4

After a quick breakfast we decided it would be the day to go to a museum
I have been wanting to visit, but have not had a chance yet. It is the
Jacquemart-Andre Museum, set in a lavish home of a wealthy, art-loving
Parisian couple, who traveled the world collecting not only wonderful
art but exquisite furniture and precious objects to adorn their home.

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Edouard Andre and his wife Nelie Jacquemart had no children, so they
spent their lives and fortunes designing and furnishing this stunning
mansion.

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Edouard was a successful banker and Nelie was an artist who loved
French and Italian art. Their marriage in 1881 raised eyebrows as he was
a dashing bachelor and a Protestant, and she, being no beauty, came from
a modest Catholic family. Still, they had a happy marriage and would
travel mostly to Italy for six months every year and would hunt for works
from the Renaissance, their preferred period.

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Their collection of art includes paintings by Fragonard, Francois Boucher,
and Dutch masters Van Dyke and Rembrandt, along with the Italian
masters from Florence and Venice.

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The museum was having a special exhibit on le Perugin, whose art had
a major influence on the young Raphael.

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The bedrooms of Edouard and Nelie

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This opulent Mansion was not only lavish but was such a pleasant and
refreshing museum to tour. The Italian art was incredible and ever since
touring it, I’m thinking Italy. Yes I’m in Paris and already thinking about
“Wouldn’t a trip to Italy be wonderful”. Ah the power of good art.

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After leaving the museum, we decided to walk over to the Opera House
on Blvd. Haussmann. It was a bright beautiful day making the walk
very nice, we were in no hurry. We had the rest of the day to spend
in this area. We wanted to tour the Opera House and walk over to the
Galleries Lafayette Department store, as that is always a treat to see and
also wanted to go to the rooftop to view Paris in all it’s glory.

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Finally arriving at the Opera we signed up for an English tour, just to be
sure we would not miss anything. What a wise choice that turned out
to be. I have been in the Opera House before but this tour took me to
lavish rooms I had not seen in the past.

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The Palais Garnier is a 1,979 seat opera house that was built-in 1861 for
the Paris Opera. The Palais Garnier is probably the most famous opera
house in the world. It is known for its setting of the play, (my favorite play
of all time) Phantom of the Opera, in 1986 by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based
on the book by Gaston Leroux in 1910. We were able to hear the real
truth regarding the legend, but will not spoil it for you.

The Grand Staircase is simply amazing. The entire opulence of this
staircase with all its glory is certainly overwhelming. The statues, the
gold, the magnificent ceiling, are all breathtaking.

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The ceiling of the Grand staircase

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The Grand Foyer

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Ceiling of the Grand Foyer. This foyer was so spectacular, it was like
being in Versailles in the Hall of Mirrors, which it was meant to make you
feel that you were actually there.

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One disappointment was we had to sit in the auditorium in the dark, as they
were preparing for the evening performance and were working on the
lights.

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Some costumes from previous performances.

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What a great time we had touring Palais Garnier. The tour was so
fascinating and I am so happy we took the time to do the tour. I
am determined to see a performance here, the next time I visit Paris.

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Next we were on our way to the Galeries Lafayette Store to watch the
sunset.

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I love Christmas in Paris. Imagine my delight when I walked in to find
their Christmas Tree was almost completed. I was like a kid in a candy
store. Yes, it wasn’t even Halloween so that was the last thing I expected
to see. Not only was it up, but it was beautiful and upside down.
Paris certainly does a wonderful job decorating their city for the holidays.

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A view of the back of the Opera House from the rooftop of Galeries
Lafayette.

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There it is, in all it’s glory. The Eiffel Tower with a red sunset.

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And then it Sparkled. What an amazing sight this was. Paris is so
beautiful and nighttime only makes it so much more unbelievable.

What a way to end our fourth day. Seeing the amazing and opulent
mansion this morning, the glorious art we were able to view, the Opera
House that can only leave one speechless, and now watching the sunset
over Paris, with the Eiffel Tower aglow. How lucky am I.

more photos and tales of Paris to come – Au revoir

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