The Palais Garnier Opera House made SUCH an impression.  Napoleon III (Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew) having survived an assassination attempt at the “old” opera house, decided to build a new one with a separate and secure entrance for himself.   After a frenzied competition, he hired architect Charles Garnier, who combined an eclectic mix of earlier European styles including baroque curves and ornamental profusion.  Criticized as over the top in 1875, it is now revered as a historical landmark by the French.