In Paris, the 17th century saw the beginning of covered passages lined with shops. Most were to open a century later, and are part of 19th-century heritage, important to Paris.
They are mostly to be found on the right bank of the Seine, mainly near to the GrandsBoulevards, in areas that attracted the wealthy classes at the time of their construction.
They usually take the form of a gallery which has been created by piercing through other buildings or that was built at the same time as them.
The galleries are covered with a glass roof which provides daylight from above and which gives a special effect.
These galleries evolved over the years: they were ideal for escaping the crowds, meeting someone or shopping out of the rain and bad weather.
Abandoned, then revamped in the 20th century, twenty or so of them still exist today and are highly prized by Parisians and visitors.
In them, you’ll find numerous shops as well as restaurants, art galleries, tea rooms, each with its own speciality.
Passage Jouffroy, Passage des Panoramas, Galerie Vivienne, Galerie Véro Dodat, GalerieColbert, Passage du Caire, Passage Brady… They are part of Paris’s history and the association ‘Passages et Galeries’, which works to preserve them, regularly offers guided tours.