Some Paris monuments amazing facts for travellers
The french dictionary is strict: an avenue is a broad road having trees along its sides. The Opéra Avenue was a special request from Napoléon III who wanted a direct road to the Opéra from his residence at the Tuileries Palace. When Haussmann started to plant the trees of that new avenue, Charles Garnier, the architect of the Opéra, who was opposed to that idea argued that the trees and their leaves would hide the perspective of his building. Backed up by the Préfet de Seine (Former name of Paris) he obtained the trees to be cut. The Opéra Avenue is today the only avenue in Paris without trees.
In 1982, a props man passionated by beekeeping put a little hive on the roof of the Opéra with the project to move them to countryside. When he came back 8 days later he found the hive full of honey. Indeed, the Parisian micro climate is ideal for bees. It offers very little wind, a few more degrees and a lot less predators. The bees produce 3 times more honey than their fields cousins. Today official, it is possible to buy the bees honey at the souvenir shop of the Opéra.
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The January 5th 1875, the day of the grand opening of the Opéra, Charles Garnier the architect chosen by Napoleon III wasn’t on the guests list and had to pay his own seat. This glaring omission was the expression of the contempt of the new rulers after the death of the Emperor.