Designed by architect Carlos Ott, this concrete, glass and steel opera house is Paris' largest, with a 2745-seat main auditorium. During his presidency, François Mitterrand instigated its creation as one of his grands projets (great projects), and inaugurated it on 13 July 1989, the eve of the 200th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison. The date was symbolic as the new opera house was intended to strip opera of its elitist airs.
Guided tours (in French) lasting 1½ hours take you behind the scenes. Tour schedules are online; the box office sells tickets 10 minutes beforehand.