Thursday, January 19, 2023

Revisiting favorites spots in Paris - Part 2 (edited)

Post edited to include two books that may be of interest:

The Covered Passages of Paris by Guy Lambert

Guidebook- The Arcades of Paris: History, Architecture, Walkways by Patrice de Moncan

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Welcome to Part Two of my series covering places I want to return to in Paris.

People ask me what I love best about Paris, and the list is long.  

On a cold rainy day my favorite thing might include just sitting in a cafe reading, writing, drinking coffee and eating, visiting a favorite museum, or exploring the covered passages. 

Excerpt from Wikipedia - "The covered passages of Paris (FrenchPassages couverts de Paris) are an early form of shopping arcade built in Paris, France primarily during the first half of the 19th century. By the 1867 there were approximately 183[1] covered passages in Paris but this decreased greatly as a result of Haussmann's renovation of Paris. Only a couple of dozen passages remain in the 21st century, all on the Right Bank.[2] The common characteristics of the covered passages are that they are: pedestrianised; glass-ceilings; artificially illuminated at night (initially with gas lamps); privately owned; highly ornamented and decorated; lined with small shops on the ground floor; connecting two streets. Originally, to keep the passages clean, each would have an artiste de décrottage (a shit-removal artist) at the entrance to clean the shoes of visitors.

The passages were the subject of Walter Benjamin's incomplete magnum-opus Passagenwerk (Arcades Project) which was posthumously published."

I love the covered passages!

I love them for many reasons, not least of which is the architecture.  Glass ceilings.  Stained glass.  They're all unique.  Some more elegant than others.  

They're full of history, along with places to shop, places to eat.

The shopping is varied - you can find bookstores, clothes, art, antiques, even a shop carrying nothing but walking sticks, Gallerie Fayet (my personal favorite).   

Bins of antique post cards.  A shop dedicated to needlework.  One for stamps. 

You can browse them on your own, or take a tour.  If you look on-line you can find guided tours, or audio tours to download onto your phone.

This blog includes a map to their favorites -

Here are a few blogs i enjoy and their posts about the passages which include a lot of pictures.

And here's the piece I posted at Meanderings and Muses about our own little exploration.  It  wasn't nearly enough.  I can't wait to do it again.

j'espère que vous reviendrez

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