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Today there remain only about 20 of the 150 arcades that existed in Paris in the 1850s. These famous arcades are used by Parisians purely by chance, by necessity when they want to take a short cut or, more often, simply for pleasure.

Most of them are on the right bank of the Seine, close to the Grands Boulevards. Forerunners of the shopping arcades, they were built in the late 18th century to house the shops used by the middle classes of the capital. There were often used as a waiting area for carriages and coaches, which is why there are so many clocks there.

Lovers of antiques, little tea shops and collectors of all types…the Parisian arcades are just for you. You can also meet up with the purists there, as the people who choose to set up shop here are usually lovers of their work….much to the delight of the real aesthetes.

It’s something of a paradox: the Parisian arcades are places that exist out of time and yet are still very much up with the times as fashion designers often set up their first showrooms here. They may be elegant, magnificent or even rather sad…but they are a reminder of a forgotten era and still carry the scent of yesteryear.

One of the most sophisticated is, without a doubt, the Galerie Vivienne which has three entrances, one in rue Vivienne, one in Rue des Petits Champs and another in rue de la Banque. The arrival of Jean-Paul Gaultier in 1986 turned it definitively into a centre for Paris fashion. But just like a grand old lady, it has remained very stylish and peaceful.

Right next door is Galerie Vivienne’s competitor, the Passage Colbert. Less commercial but very luxurious, it was bought by the French National Library and houses a number of institutions linked to culture and art. At the far end is the perfect place for you to go for dinner: the Grand Colbert, a typical Parisian brasserie.

With its diagonal pattern of black and white tiles, the Verot Dodat passageway gives an illusion of depth and should also be visited. One of its entrances can be found at n°19 rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau. Completely restored in 1997, it is the most charming of Paris’ covered passageways.

We’ll end with the oldest one, the Panoramas arcade which connects the Grands Boulevards and the Grange Batelière. Its glass roof provides daylight and it is the home of stamp collectors.

Others like the Verdeau, Grand-Cerf, Molière and Vendôme arcades…each have their own individual personality, charm and clientele.

The Parisian arcades, these little walkways between buildings, have kept their mystery….few can say where they begin and where they end…it’s up to you to find out!

Video content: Parisian Arcades

Today there remain only about 20 of the 150 arcades that existed in Paris in the 1850s. These famous arcades are used by Parisians purely by chance, by necessity when they want to take a short cut or, more often, simply for pleasure.

Most of them are on the right bank of the Seine, close to the Grands Boulevards. Forerunners of the shopping arcades, they were built in the late 18th century to house the shops used by the middle classes of the capital. There were often used as a waiting area for carriages and coaches, which is why there are so many clocks there.

Lovers of antiques, little tea shops and collectors of all types…the Parisian arcades are just for you. You can also meet up with the purists there, as the people who choose to set up shop here are usually lovers of their work….much to the delight of the real aesthetes.

It’s something of a paradox: the Parisian arcades are places that exist out of time and yet are still very much up with the times as fashion designers often set up their first showrooms here.
They may be elegant, magnificent or even rather sad…but they are a reminder of a forgotten era and still carry the scent of yesteryear.

One of the most sophisticated is, without a doubt, the Galerie Vivienne which has three entrances, one in rue Vivienne, one in Rue des Petits Champs and another in rue de la Banque. The arrival of Jean-Paul Gaultier in 1986 turned it definitively into a centre for Paris fashion. But just like a grand old lady, it has remained very stylish and peaceful.

Right next door is Galerie Vivienne’s competitor, the Passage Colbert. Less commercial but very luxurious, it was bought by the French National Library and houses a number of institutions linked to culture and art. At the far end is the perfect place for you to go for dinner: the Grand Colbert, a typical Parisian brasserie.

With its diagonal pattern of black and white tiles, the Verot Dodat passageway gives an illusion of depth and should also be visited. One of its entrances can be found at n°19 rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau. Completely restored in 1997, it is the most charming of Paris’ covered passageways.

We’ll end with the oldest one, the Panoramas arcade which connects the Grands Boulevards and the Grange Batelière. Its glass roof provides daylight and it is the home of stamp collectors.

Others like the Verdeau, Grand-Cerf, Molière and Vendôme arcades…each have their own individual personality, charm and clientele.

The Parisian arcades, these little walkways between buildings, have kept their mystery….few can say where they begin and where they end…it’s up to you to find out!

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