Built in 1823, the Galerie Vivienne is probably the most elegant and luxurious of the ‘Passages Couverts’, remaining in Paris. Of the original 150, there now remain only about 20, situated mainly on the Right Bank around the Grands Boulevards, and each with it’s own character and charm.
Nestled in the passageways between two buildings, they usually have glass roofs, and were built as commercial galleries, protecting 19th century shoppers from the rain. After falling into disrepair for many years, and many being destroyed in Hausmann’s reorganization of the city, they are now once again filled with artisan and designer shops, high end boutiques, cafés and even workshops.
The Galerie Vivienne is a wonderful place to wander through, whatever the weather. Don’t miss the magnificent mosaic floors, made by Facchina, and if you have time stop and have a drink at one of the café terraces inside, so you can linger and enjoy the beautiful light filtering through the glass roof.
- Galerie Vivienne. 6 rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris. Metro: Bourse