Yesterday, I set out on a little walk to see as many passages as possible. The ones I set off to see were all covered. It was a bit drizzly off and on, so it seemed like a great day to explore. Follow this link if you’d like to know more about the history of passages.
Passage du Prado
This little passage is right near my apartment, and I must have walked by it about 817 times. It is L-shaped, and curves on to the Boulevard at the glass dome in the next photo. It is clearly in need of a little help, but there is so much going for it…I found it charming.
Passage Vero Dodat
This passage was very well maintained, and also retained its original skylights, and mosaic floor. The fittings for gas lamps were still there, but they are now electric.
I knew I had been here, but cannot remember ever going through it! On the corner, as noted in the next photo is the museum-like shop of Christian Louboutin. Apparently, he has opened a men’s shop across the passage.
I took a
wrong different way out of the Palais Royal gardens, and happened upon this, perhaps the shortest little passage. Up the stairs, down the stairs, that was it.
I was back on track to see this one. As per recommendation from one of my favorite books, Walks Through Lost Paris, Leonard Pitt, I went up a tiny staircase which led me through an angled pass through, which crossed over to this Galerie. Apparently, when it was built in 1826, it was so popular, that another owner wanted his own Galerie started up, right next door. Afraid of losing business, the owner of Galerie Vivienne made the angled passageway which led people directly from the Palais Royal. Ah, lost secrets. Well, Galerie Vivienne was something else…
Sadly, all entrances of this passage were under construction, so I do not have a picture of the exterior sign. The inside, as you can see was full of lights strung all the way through. Full of vintage shops and lots and lots of shoes!
Passage des Panoramas
This is the second oldest passage in Paris. It was built in 1800, and lit by gas in 1817. Really interesting shops. Stamps for sale, trade. Books for sale. Postcards organized from where they were from around the globe.
Felt like I stepped into the movie Charade
This interesting passage had, of note, a wax museum, as well as the store where Toulouse-Lautrec bought his walking sticks.
This was the place to go for vintage comic books, more old editions of books, and to get anything framed. It struck me how small the shops were in this one. Little winding staircases leading up to storage spaces, a lounge chair for browsing in one store made it impossible to enter at all. So funny.
I felt that after my walk through town, though mostly covered, I deserved to sit down and enjoy a café and some late afternoon sunshine. I promise to always walk through passages from now on. 🙂