In Paris, the 17th century saw the beginning of covered passages lined with shops. Most followed a century later, and are part of the 19th century heritage so important to the French capital.
They are mostly found on the right bank of the Seine, close to the Grands Boulevards, in areas that attracted the wealthy classes at the time of their construction.
They usually take the form of a gallery which has been created by piercing through other buildings or that was built at the same time as them.
The galleries are covered with a glass roof, which filters the sunlight from above and creates a magical atmosphere.
Escape the Crowds and Bad Weather
These galleries evolved over the years: they were ideal for escaping the crowds, meeting someone or shopping out of the rain and bad weather.
Abandoned, then revamped in the 20th century, twenty or so of them still exist today and are highly prized by Parisians and tourists alike.
In them, you’ll find numerous shops as well as restaurants, art galleries, tea rooms, each with its own speciality.
Passage Jouffroy, Passage des Panoramas, Galerie Vivienne, Galerie Véro Dodat, GalerieColbert, Passage du Caire, and Passage Brady.
They are part of Paris’s history and the association ‘Passages et Galeries’, which works to preserve them, regularly offers guided tours.