Galleries & Passages, Paris
Opened only in 1860, the passage des Princes is the last covered passage built and has the agreement of Baron Haussmann. The bank Jules Mirès financed the building and part of the dog-legged passage was named after him. Unfortunately he soon went bankrupt and arrested. Shortly after the passage was acquired by an insurance company, today called the AGF, who 160 years later are still the owners. An original sign of the buyers can be seen on the 4th photo below.
Completely demolished and rebuilt in the '90s the passage no longer has the dog-leg but a sharp 90° angle in the middle of its 80 metres. Certain elements though have been re-installed such as the beautiful Italian stained glass cupola, from 1930, over the rotunda at the blvd des Italiens end. The passage today is a child's delight, having exclusively toy- and model shops. As you leave the passage at the blvd des Italiens end there is a nice view up the hill to the Sacré Coeur
Nearest metro is Richelieu-Drouot
These two passages are part of and attached to Passage des Panoramas and you can find them by snooping around a little in the little used corners. They represent very little interest to the tourist as they are mainly used as service corridors for Passage des Panoramas. There are also the galleries "Des Varietés" and " Montmartre" in this warren of corridors.
Closest metro is Grands Boulevards or Richelieu-Drouot
The passage du Havre runs from rue Caumartin to rue St Lazare, is roughly 115 metres long and first constructed in 1845. Renovated recently in 2012 there are about 40 shops here, mainly luxury clothes and perfume although there is a Starbucks and one of the Pauls bakeries.
The passage used to be mainly toys and miniature railways but has completely lost its way and is now just like any small mall anywhere in the world. Does have a lovely glass roof though with some nice hanging lamps under a central cupola.
Nearest metro is St Lazare.
Close to the Madeleine this short passage built over a Benedictine priory by M. Puteaux in 1839 doesn't see many shoppers. Bought as an investment as the St Lazare main line station was supposedly to be built next door, fell into disrepute and lost most of its shops. Only 29 metres long it suffered in comparison to other galleries such as Jouffroy and Colbert. The glass roof only covers half of the passage but still retains some elegance and charm. Could be visited if on your way to the Expiatory chapel.
St. Augustin is the nearest metro.
One of the best preserved and most sublime of the Parisian galleries. Built in 1823 the passage boasted some of the most luxurious shops in Paris for the time. Originally called Galerie Marchoux after the owners name it became Vivienne in 1825 and then inaugurated in 1826. One of the main shops for visitors today is " D and F Jousseaume" where you can find an extensive range of old postcards and books and also Jean-Paul Gaulthier has a boutique here.
One personality to have lived here was Vidocq at no.13, model for Victor Hugo's " Javert" the policeman in "Les Miserables and also inventor of unfalsifiable paper and the chief of Security for France. He also began the very first private detective agency in Paris.
Another was Antoine de Bougainville who was a Black Musketeer before becoming a navigator and explorer. He was arrested for his views but was released when Robespierre met his end. He died in the house at the end of the passage in 1811.
Bourse is the nearest metro.
The cité Berryer, now known as the passage Royale was first driven through here in 1745 when the marché d'Aguesseau was moved here and named passagedu marché d'Aguesseau. Apparently butchers, both beef and pork, had shops at the end where it touches rue Boissy d'Anglas, and fishmongers, bakers and fruitsellers at the opposite end near rue Royale. Renamed Cité Berryer in 1877 after a well-known politician. Renovated just 20 years ago, it has been turned into a very "chic" place to be seen, mainly by well-heeled tourists rather than Parisians.
Nearest metro is Concorde or Madeleine
Another passage of luxury, first opened in 1845 by the same company that owned Passage Jouffroy. One of the shortest of the covered passages in Paris (only 53 metres), it owes much to its natural lighting and also to the fact that one of the oldest restaurants of Paris, Lucas Carton, had its place here. Starting at the SW corner of the place de la Madeleine and coming out at 30 rue Boissy d'Anglas opposite the American Embassy.
Nearest metro is Madeleine or Concorde.
With a large and rich history in glass manufacturing, Baccarat is a respected name. If you pass by the United States square, you may enter and see a couple of great pieces, well displayed in a beautiful palace. I must confess That I expected more, and took a morning expressly to go there.
Somewhat disappointed, but I didn't regret the time.
Why do they forbid to take pictures inside? There's no risk to the pieces, and copying models will not be stopped nor limited by boring the tourists!
Ancestors of the big malls, this passages are galleries along corridors, connecting streets and providing covered access to several shops.
There are many in Paris, still with the old functionality, and some of them really beautiful.
If you have a rainy day in Paris (not unusual), visit some of the wonderful old galleries and passages. These glass-covered streets were built in the 1800 and 1900s and many have been restored to their original glory. They are fun to visit with shops and restaurants . . . and no rain.
We happened into Gallerie Vivienne completely by accident wandering around looking for a restaurant recommended by a friend. We had decided to stay on the Right Bank for a change and weren't close to all the places we knew. Fortunately we had our trusty "Paris Pratique" map booklet with us so not only did we find the restaurant, we found our first Paris Gallerie or Passage.
There are several all over the city but the one we happened into was Gallerie Vivienne at 6 rue Vivienne not far from our hotel by the Palais Royal Gardens. The Gallerie web site is gone but there is a nice article on Wikipedia about it and it's worth a look. Gallerie Vivienne by Wikipedia
There is a list of all the galleries and their locations at the web site listed below. Enjoy.
Strange to find this passage in the very chic avenue Victor Hugo, almost unknown and very difficult to find much info about the place. It's already unusual to find a brick-fronted building in the 16th, let alone on this avenue. Constructed in 1904 on two levels, apparently to make it more viable, for the account of a Senor Mayol de Senillosa, an Argentine. So now we know where the name comes from!!! Quite light and airy inside although not many people. As there didn't seem much going on I didn't venture upstairs. The most interesting shop is the "Bal Masqué" where you can hire your costumes for the Carnival or a fancy dress do.
Found at : 111 avenue Victor Hugo, Paris 75016.
Victor Hugo is the closest metro.
Being built in 1799/1800 Passage des Panoramas is almost the oldest of Parisian passages still in existence (oldest being passage du Caire) others built in the 1700's all having been demolished or built over. Passage des Panoramas is known for its shops and collections of stamps and postcards, so if you want a p/c that dates, this is the place to come. The world famous engraver Stern's shop is on the list of historic monuments whilst the passage is described in Hugo's book "Nana".
Nearest metro is Grands Boulevards or Richelieu-Drouot.
Well known to Parisians this passage was opened in 1845 and was the first passage constructed entirely in iron and glass, and is also the first to have underfloor heating. Well placed between passages Verdeau and Panorama it also has the entrance to the Parisian equivalent of Mme Tussauds, Musee Grevin that was inaugurated in 1882. Frederic Chopin lived in the house where the "Hotel Chopin" is situated up on the 5th floor around 1832/32. Just in front of the entrances to the hotel and Musee Grevin is a staircase built to overcome differences in levels probably due to the ancient moat and walls of Louis XIII passing close by.
Nearest metro is Grands Boulevards or Richelieu-Drouot.
This passage, built in 1847 at the same time as its counterpert, passage Jouffroy and by the same company has always suffered by not being close enough to the "Grands Boulevards" although it did take off for a while when the "Hotel Drouot", the Sothebys of Paris, opened its doors close by. A good many antique dealers then set up here. The old photographic shop has been there since 1901.
Richelieu-Drouot is the nearest metro.
One of the most used and loved of the Parisian passages, Passage Choiseul has practically not changed in almost 200 years, even the entrance canopies,although slightly battered, are the originals since 1825. At 190 metres it is one of the longest in Paris. Having a secondary entrance into the theatre "Les Bouffes Parisiens" helps to maintain a certain ambiance in the passage. Owned once by Offenbach the theatre is now the property of French actor Jean-Claude Brialy. Main entrances are at 40 rue des Petits-Champs and 23 rue St. Augustin.
Closed on Sundays.
Closest metro is Pyramides or Quatre-Septembre