Just a few steps from Hotel Marsollier Louvre Opéra, one of Paris’s most enchanting secrets awaits. The covered passages of the 2nd and 9th arrondissements are a wanderer’s treasure. Under the glass ceilings, the mellow daylight cossets a fantasy parade of antique shops, eccentric boutiques and decadent patisseries.
The shopping arcades of the very aristocratic Palais Royal were built in 1786, moments before the French Revolution. They became the inspiration for the over 150 galleries that flourished in the first half of the XIX century.
At the time the Impressionists began to capture the excitement of the Grands Boulevards, strolling through the passages had become the most exquisite Parisian attraction – a bourgeois shortcut from the city’s “embarrassments”: noise, mud, horse-drawn traffic.
Long left to decay, the galleries have now been restored. Today, each boutique is a window into past times that never passed… The antique dolls of the very aristocratic Galerie Véro-Dodat, constructed by a butcher and a financial speculator in 1826… The historic libraries of competing Galeries Vivienne and Colbert, inaugurated that same year…
In the 1847 Passage Jouffroy, you will find the Grévin Museum, home to over 300 wax sculptures and a delight for our youngest visitors. Next door, the Passage des Panoramas (1799), was the set of Zola’s novel Nana… its past glamour reviving as you delve into collections of vintage postcards.
A good plan for a rainy day. Many passages and shops are closed after 7pm and on Sundays.
View the covered passages of Paris – Hotel Louvre Marsollier in an interactive Google map