Palais Garnier

The reason Emperor Napoleon III decided to build a new opera house was the failed assassination attempt on him.

An excerpt from the article 13 facts about Palais Garnier

The assassination attempt occurred on 14th January 1858, when the imperial couple was going to the then-existing Paris Opera House, Salle Le Peletier. The assassination was carried out by Felice Orsini, who was a member of the organization of the Carbonari (charcoal makers), a secret revolutionary association.

Orsini, hoping that the Emperor’s death would spark a revolution in France, along with three accomplices, threw bombs at the carriage on which Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie were traveling to the Paris Opera House.

Dozens of people were killed at the time, and the emperor, who was the target of the bombing, was not even injured. Orsini designed a bomb filled with fulminate mercury with a horrific, for the time, power of destruction, later called the Orsini bomb.