The Parisian covered passages are a world apart from the crowded museums or busy Grands Boulevards in Paris. By the end of the XVIIIth century town planners created a labyrinth of hidden commercial galleries across the city with beautiful stained glass ceilings, mosaic works and iron latticework, all bathed in natural light. Apart from its dominating merchant role, they were also the new bourgeois’ favorite stroll, the place to show up and socialize in its endless cafes, restaurants or small theaters.
Over the years only few passages survived. Restored to its former glory they are nowadays real Art Nouveau / Neoclassical architectural gems and if you know where to look you will find delightful ancient boutiques, cute tearooms and other curiosity shops. These charming passages, totally free to visit, are the perfect shelter for a rainy day but also a trip back in time to the wonderful Belle Époque.