What makes the beauty of Paris is mainly the great monuments, which tell the history of France and the capital. But the testimonies of the past are also hidden in the small details, and the covered passages of Paris are part of these vestiges which manage to plunge you a few centuries back. Here is one of the most beautiful walks, from the covered passages of Paris to the Louvre museum.
What are these covered passages in the heart of Paris?
Before we start our walk, do you really know what the covered passages of Paris are? These small shopping alleys were created in the 19th century, when Haussmann redesigned the architecture of the capital. At the time, the wealthiest Parisians could move around Paris on foot in these small streets sheltered by glass canopies, avoiding the mud and the bad weather, but also the hustle and bustle of the outside.
During the Belle Époque, Paris had 70 covered passages. Today, only 21 remain, but each one still reflects the unique atmosphere that is conducive to strolling. Most of these beautiful secret passages are located in the 9th and 2nd arrondissements.
The Panoramas passage
The Parisian passage of Panoramas is the most known, but also the oldest, since it was built in 1799. Accessible from the boulevard Montmartre, the rue Saint-Marc, the rue Vivienne or the rue Montmartre, the passage des Panoramas is open from 6 am to midnight.
If this small charming street is very visited, it is especially the philatelists who like to meet there, because many stores of stamps of collection are installed there. But there are also many shops that have kept the cachet of the time. Along the 133 meters of this passage covered by a sublime glass roof, art craftsmen and food shops are legion.
Leading from the Bourse district to the Grands Boulevards, the Passage des Panoramas also takes you to the Variétés gallery and the Variétés theater, still in operation today.
The Jouffroy passage
Built in 1836, in the continuation of the passage des Panoramas, the passage Jouffroy is accessible from 7 am to 9:30 pm, since the boulevard Montmartre or the street of the Grange-Bâtelière.
Much frequented by tourists and Parisians, this small alley is sheltered by a huge ogive glass roof. The charm operates immediately, supported by the magnificent architecture in glass and iron, and the heated marble paving.
The Jouffroy passage is home to many stores of all kinds, but there are also tea rooms, the exit of the Grévin museum and its famous wax figures, the Salon des Miroirs, or the Chopin hotel.
Completely renovated in 1987, the Jouffroy passage is also classified as a historical monument since 1974.
The Verdeau passage
Open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., the Passage Verdeau is accessible from the rue de la Grange-Bâtelière or the Faubourg-Montmartre.
Located on the Grands Boulevards, in the 3rd arrondissement, the Passage Verdeau was built in 1847, in the continuation of the Passage des Panoramas and the Passage Jouffroy. Less popular, it nevertheless presents a magnificent glass roof and an elegant metal frame. In fine weather, it is pleasant to walk around, as the structure lets the fresh air pass through.
In this pretty covered passage, there are also many stores, and in particular bookshops (old books, old postcards…), art sellers and antique dealers, who make the happiness of all collectors.
The Vivienne Gallery
In the 2nd district of Paris, the Galerie Vivienne was inaugurated in 1823. You can go there every day, from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm, from the rue Vivienne, the rue des Petits-Champs, or the rue de la banque.
Hidden behind the Richelieu library, not far from the Palais-Royal, this covered passage imposes, with its impressive dome, its numerous sculptures and paintings, and its colored mosaic floor. This neo-classical Pompeian style makes it one of the most beautiful covered passages of Paris.
More chic, the gallery is home to luxury ready-to-wear boutiques, interior design stores, but also shops selling old books, tea rooms and cafés.
The Colbert Gallery
The Colbert Gallery is one of the few covered passages accessible day and night. Open non-stop, the gallery is accessible from rue Vivienne and rue des Petits-Champs.
Competing with the beauty of the Galerie Vivienne, the Galerie Colbert belongs to the National Library. Its particularity? Unlike all the other galleries in Paris, this one doesn’t have any stores. Indeed, the Galerie Colbert is much more focused on art, and you can find the Institut National du Patrimoine (INP), or the Institut National de l’Histoire de l’Art (INHA).
The passage is still worth the detour, and visitors are overwhelmed by the beauty of the rotunda, topped by a glass dome.
Inside, you can also go to the brasserie “Le Grand Colbert”, a great name in Parisian gastronomy. Classified as a historical monument, the establishment displays an Art Nouveau style that is very attractive, especially in the world of cinema.
This short walk, through the covered passages of Paris and along the gardens of the Palais Royal, will lead you to the Louvre museum, where you will discover thousands of works, and continue your walk in the Tuileries gardens.
Do you like the unusual atmosphere of the covered passages? Then take advantage of your stay in Paris to discover others, such as the Choiseul passage, the Galerie Véro-Dodat, the Grand-Cerf passage, the Princes passage, the Caire passage, the Brady passage… By staying at the Cadet residence, you will have all the leisure to discover all the most beautiful covered passages of Paris.