Awakening To The Glass Passageways of Paris

Bonjour mes amis,

When you’re lucky enough to be in Paris, take some time to discover the secrets of the illusive glass Passageways throughout the city.  “Les Passages Couvert” are not generally realised by non locals and tourists alike, yet time has stood still in their honour and they remain pretty much as they were many years ago. Locals use these passageways the most these days as a convenient undercover route to the different areas of Paris.

“Les Passages Couvert” go by the name of Jouffroy (at boulevard Montmartre) or Vivienne (at rue Vivienne) or Panoramas (at rue Montmartre) or Colbert (at rue Vivienne) Prado (at boulevard St Denis) or Princes (at rue de Richelieu) or Verdeau (at  rue du Faubourg), Madeleine ( at place de la Madeleine) or Brady (at boulevard de Strasbourg) or Vendome (at rue Beranger) or Vero Dodat (at rue du Bouloi)  and more.

These passageways were once the undercover shopping galleries of the Bourgeoisie and still hold incredible charm for us as they did long ago.

There are twenty or so under glass galleries and they are to this day, a definate draw card for anyone remotely interested in a vintage world (like moi!).

I like to visit these every time I’m in Paris especially when it’s raining. I would say that any one of them holds a unique appeal for you too and they really shouldn’t be missed on your next trip. Slip out of the rain and into some magic!

Escape into the quieter Parisian world of literature and art, in a snake like procession of  book shops, stamp dealers, antique shops (including antique dolls) and  galleries- away from the madding crowds of Paris tourism.

Interconnecting across Paris, you will discover an assortment of gift shops including my favourite, La Maison du Roy. It’s full of French giftwares, antiques, costumes and homewares big and small, sometimes in gilt and lavish trim or just stand out provincial style and always with decorative gorgeousness!

In other Passages, there is a maze of antiques (including a fabulous antique cane shop), book shops,vintage movie poster shops and lots more galleries, postcard and music  shops being held under grand architectural statements of Art Deco glass and ironwork. Some of these still possess the old gas lamps lining some of the passageways of the past.

There’s even a Magic shop founded in 1808 in Rue Jouffroy and amid quirky cafes like those above, a fabulous miniature shop for our devout miniature maniacs out there! Just imagine french furniture (down to the finest detail) and every must have teeny accessory for your petite maison! Your inner child will be squealing with delight!

It’s all really beautiful and comforting, well lit by glass roofing and insulated from the noise of the busy Paris streets outside.

If you feel like a rest, you can always book yourself into the Hotel Chopin at the end of Passage Jouffroy. You can find Hotel Chopin at:

“Les Passages Couvert” is the inner Paris inside Paris itself!

Search the maze and above all, ENJOY!

(Contact the Paris Tourist Office for the complete listing of the Glass passageways and their corresponding  addresses.)

Au revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

4 Responses to “Awakening To The Glass Passageways of Paris”

  1. […] Barcelona and Madrid.  While in Paris we had some free time to visit the passages couverts or glass passageways from the 19th century.  Nowadays you find lots of shops, restaurants, bookstores–just very […]

  2. I’m heading to Paris in December and want to buy a marionette. Do you know where I might find one?

    • Dear Kerry,
      My apologies for being late in replying but I’ve been to Russia on holidays.There used to be a lovely shop on the Ille St Louis in Paris where you could purchase all sorts of beautiful frivolity including marionettes. The island is not so extensive that you can’t canvas in a day so happy hunting and let me know if you discover your little gem. best wishes, Therese

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