The Passages of Paris
Discover the Covered Passages of Paris
Between the late 18th and mid-19th century, the city of Paris would create the covered passage or arcade. Also sometimes called “galleries”, these wonderful spaces were designed in part to improve the life of the pedestrian. The glass covered roofs and paving of the passages proved protection against bad weather and muddy streets. The passages are lined with shops that would attract visitors in the past and still today. Paris once had more than 40 passages. Today only seventeen. These are all located on the city’s Right Bank. Today, all continue to fulfill their original function. This walk could be started at the Palais Royal and lead up towards the Grand Boulevards. Taking this path nearly links one beautiful passage to another in this area of Paris. These lovely spaces still include wonderful shops, but also feature the building innovations of the early and middle 19th century.
Some of the passages visited could include: Galerie Véro-Dodat, Galerie Vivienne, Galerie Colbert, Passage des Panaramas, Passage Jouffery and Passage Verdeau.
Other city passages are located in the area of the city running from rue Saint-Denis towards the Place de la République. These exist in the city’s garment district. Additional passages that might be included: Passage du Grand-Cerf, Passage du Bourg-l’Abbé, Passage du Caire and Passage Brady (today known for it’s Indian and Pakistani businesses and restaurants).
“glaucous gleam, seemingly filtered through deep water, with the special quality of pale brilliance of a leg suddenly revealed under a lifted skirt.... the modern light of strangeness in these human aquariums...”