The Covered Passages of Paris (Les Passages Couverts de Paris in French) are hidden gems in Paris, a world apart from the crowded tourist attractions or busy Grands Boulevards. By the end of the 18th century, town planners created a labyrinth of commercial passages in Paris with beautiful stained-glass ceilings, mosaic works, and iron latticework, all bathed in natural light.
At the end of the 18th century, Paris still had the characteristics of the Middle Ages: muddy streets without sidewalks or sewers very crowded, poorly lit at night, uneven pavement, bad smells and noise. The walkers, risking jostling and accidents, did not take much pleasure in it.
On the other hand, the covered passages, glazed, heated and lit with gas, allowed them to leave the embarrassments of Paris, with all its risks. They had become places of light (zenithal lighting),meetings (in particular gallant), of purchases (thanks to the trade), of lodgings, and of entertainments (theaters, cafés, restaurants), and all this sheltered from bad weather!
With the living space, these passages gathered individuals of different social ranks It was really a place of social mix in every respect.
And they quickly became a privileged place of walk for the new bourgeoisie, rich and spendthrift: it was important to show off, to display their success and to be seen there.
After a peak in the middle of the 19th century, the covered passages lost some of their appeal with the emergence of these giant temples of commerce that were the department stores: the Bon Marché in 1852, the Grands magasins du Louvre in 1855, the Grands magasins du Printemps in 1865, À la belle jardinière in 1867, the Samaritaine in 1870 and the Galeries Lafayette in 1894. The narrow passages with their small stores cannot compete with these department stores and their vast interior spaces. So they close one after the other: 150 galleries existed in Paris in 1850, only 20 are still in business today.
Presentation of the tour : Through the covered passages ( short)
But first, let’s have a look at the practical details before we start our tour .
The tour passes through :
It is a linear route that starts at 31 bis rue du Faubourg Montmartre metro station. and ends up at Quatre-Septembre metro station.
Be there 10 minutes before the tour starts
HOW TO GET THERE
For you to get to the departure point, you must take the following public transportations nearby the passage Verdeau.
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
- Wheelchair accessible
- Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
- May be operated by a multi-lingual guide
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
- For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
- If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
- Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE STARTING THE TOUR
Like any of our other strolls, this tour is eco-friendly to preserve the planet as much as your health, it is entirely by foot and is open to all public. During the warmer months, don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses and some sunscreen to avoid sunburns.
Our friendly advice: These passages are at the same time a place of life and of exhibition, a case sheltered from the tumult, a support to the artistic development and to that of the imagination. After through the galleries, come and have a snack or a good meal at Bouillon Chartier, or sip hot cocoa or enjoy the Aperitivo Hour in the evening at L’Arbre à cannelle
Stroll duration : 1h