The Passages of Paris
The “passage” is a typically Parisian concept born in 1776 and further developed in the first half of the 19th century. Paris had up to thirty covered passages in the 1850s and shared its idea with provincial cities such as Bordeaux or Nantes and abroad. Today, Paris has 24 passages, 18 of which are classified as historical monuments, and 10 of which are concentrated in the 2nd district.
We are sharing with you two passages which we hope will help you discover the Paris of old. To follow them, we recommend using the following Google Maps link on your smartphone:
– Route No. 1, 1.5km covering 5 passages. Estimated walking time: 1.30 to 2 hours
– Route No. 2, 3.8km covering 9 passages. Estimated walking time: 3 to 4 hours
Here we will talk about the main passages and at the end of the article, you will find a complete table for each place with its respective wikipedia.fr page. Depending on the languages available, you can branch off to the Wikipedia page language of your choice.
Opened in 1947, it covers 75 meters. Close to the Hotel Drouot, it has attracted several antique dealers, collectors of old books or old postcards, booksellers… A photo store has been in the same location since 1901.
It is a fairly long passage covering 140 meters. Since its creation, it has been one of the most visited passages in Paris. It starts at the continuation of the Passage des Panoramas. It has a metal frame with a glass roof and marble pavement. It was renovated in 1987.
Here you will find several interesting shops; books, prints, toys, stationery, and at one of its ends, the Musée Grévin and its famous wax characters, which will interest the little ones for sure.
Passage des Panoramas
It is the oldest covered passage in the capital, and probably the most popular by now. It has preserved a patina of authenticity able to plunge you into the Paris of the 19th century. Its commercial activity is rather centered on food, art, and postcard, money, autograph, and old stamp collectors. You can see period façades like the Marquis chocolatier and the Stern printing house (read our article).
It is one of the longest and most beautiful galleries in Paris. It definitely deserves a detour (read our article). If you are a wine lover, visit the Maison Legrand, a wine merchant offering a choice of 350 types, 3,000 wines, and 10,000 references.
Passage du Grand-Cerf
Nearly 12 meters high and with a wrought iron structure flanked by a glass roof, this passage offers beautiful light to stroll in and many shops of atypical and creative craftsmen to discover: creators, decorators, designers, dry goods, a gallery, and an interesting brewery at its end.