We headed to the right bank to tour the covered passages of Paris.
Passages provided warm and dry places for the wealthy to shop in bad weather. In the mid-19th century there were more than 150 passages. With development of department stores around 1850, the galleries began to decline. There are 18 passages today.
The first passage we came to was Galerie Vero-Dodat. It was built by two charcutiers (sellers of hams, sausages, and pates) in 1826. Vero-Dodat was restored in 1997, complete with shops and restaurants.
This unassuming doorway to the Palais-Royal doesn’t prepare you for the lovely garden inside.
There is an arcade here but it really is a palace. Originally called the Palais-Cardinal, it was the personal residence of Cardinal Richelieu. It was completed in 1639. When Richelieu died the palace became the property of the King and was renamed Palais-Royal. It was the center of Paris’s social scene.
These striped columns are an art installation called “Les Deux Plateau”.
Over the years the palace was passed down through the royalty. In 1661 the palace became the main residence of the House of Orleans. The ornamental gardens were developed at this time.
In 1786, the gardens and surrounding structures of the Palais-Royal opened to the public as a shopping and entertainment complex – the first indoor gallery in Paris.
Next was the Galerie Vivienne, built in 1826. It attracted many visitors with its popular shops. Eventually the shops moved to the Champs-Elysees and the gallery lost some of its appeal. Since 1960 businesses have moved back to the gallery and it is popular again.
Galerie Colbert, also built in 1826, has a huge rotunda.
The Paris Opera House was colorful even on this gray day.
Passage Choiseul was built in 1824. In 1907 the glass roof was replaced. It is the longest covered passage in the city.
The French Stock Exchange, La Bourse
Opened in 1800, Passage des Panoramas is the oldest covered arcade in Paris and one of the first covered commercial passageways in Europe. It was also the first to have gas lights, added in 1817. It got its name from the panoramic paintings of famous cities in the rotunda of the original building, the mansion of the Duke of Luxembourg.
Passage Jouffroy was built in 1847. It is the first Parisian passage built entirely of metal and glass. Only the decorative elements are wooden. It is also the first passage heated by the ground. The passage was completely renovated in 1987.
This is where Toulouse-Lautrec bought his walking sticks.
I have no idea what this stuffed winged wolf is about!