Paris walks
Retour à laccueil : Home (English) > Visit > Paris walks > The covered passages in Paris

The covered passages in Paris

Passage du grand cerf
Enlarge the picture

The covered passages developed in the capital over a period of only sixty years or so, between the late 18th century and the mid-19th century. Each passage has its own special character but they have one thing in common: they are all private roads.

Innovative in terms of their architectural shape as well as their social role, and systematically lined with shops, the passages were
places of great diversity. There were usually homes above the shops, and luxury boutiques, toyshops, performance venues, bookshops and restaurants stood side by side. Of the sixty or so covered passages that were built, fifteen or so remain, gathered together on the Right Bank. Most are either classified Historic Monuments, listed on the Historic Monuments register or protected by the Local Urbanism/Protection Plan for the city of Paris.

Each passage has its own special character but they have one thing in common: they are all private roads, some open to pedestrians, some not, and are all run by private owners. » The covered passages in Paris (English version - pdf format) 


Choiseul Passage

Passage Choiseul (2e arrondissement) Entrances 40, rue des Petits Champs/23, rue Saint-Augustin
One of the longest in Paris (190 metres)

The theatre and literature were the two most striking characteristics of the passage. Visitors to the surrounding theatres strolled along the main path. Paul Verlaine’s fi rst editor had his bookshop in the passage, and Ferdinand Céline lived there for many years as a child.


































Panoramas Passage

Entrances 11/13, boulevard Montmartre/38, rue Vivienne/ 151, rue Montmartre
133 metres long

In 1799, Thayer had two towers built on Boulevard Montmartre, where he installed his panoramas. In order to make it easier to access the Palais Royal and attract customers to his « rama things », he opened a passage to shelter passers-by from the rain and mud.


Passage des Panoramas, on flâne avec délice ! par mairiedeparis

Grand Cerf Passage

Entrances 145, rue Saint-Denis/10, rue Dussoubs
113 metres long

In 1825, the « roulage du Grand Cerf » company building, the terminus for the stagecoaches of the Messageries Royales (French royal mail), was demolished. The passage’s date of opening remains unclear, but defi nitely predates the riots that erupted in Rue Saint-Denis in 1827. It is worth a look for the quality of its architecture. With a height of around 12 metres, it is the tallest of all the Parisian passages. Its partly metal structure made it possible to build two fully glazed façade levels. It was residential from the third floor up.

  Brady Passage


Passage Brady


 Entrances 46, rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis/33, boulevard de Strasbourg
216 metres long
















This passage was built in 1828 by a trader called Brady. Its central part was removed in 1854 when the Boulevard de Strasbourg was made. The part connecting Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis to Boulevard de Strasbourg is covered, while the part that goes from this boulevard to Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin is not.

Originally, the passage formed a homogeneous group with an elegant rotunda that compensated for the slight slant of its layout. In 1831, it became a second-hand clothes bazaar, where traders and reading rooms
abounded. The plans of the time show that there were also baths there.

In the early 20th century, it was neglected. Since the 1970-1980s, it has been geared towards Indian and Pakistani shops, which now
occupy the entire passage.


 » The covered passages in Paris (English version - pdf format)

Send this page - new window » Send this page  Print » Print  Add to your cart - new window » Add to your cart 

Other documents

 Web ring
Paris Tourism bureau


Paris nightlife