When the Palais Garnier’s foundations were being poured in 1862, architect Charles Garnier discovered that they had hit a tributary of the famous Seine River, undaunted he refused to relocate the opera house and set about trying to create an intricate system to drain the water.  This involved a double foundation and included a huge cistern which allows for an enormous reservoir of water in the event of a fire.

Gaston Leroux immortalised the opera house in 1910 when he published a three and a half month serial Le Fantome De l l’Opéra – the Phantom of the Opera which tells the story of the love triangle of Christine, Raoul and the phantom architect, Erik who built the opera house and secretly also built himself an underground palace with a lake.

Reality is stranger than fiction….