If you’re visiting the Galerie Vivienne make sure you pop next door and take a look at the Galerie Colbert, number 3 in my series on the covered passages of Paris. The glass coupole is 15 metres in diameter, at the time an amazing feat of architecture, and still very beautiful today.
Built in 1826 and riding on the popularity of the nearby Galerie Vivienne and the Palais Royal, it was very successful until 1836 when a general clean up of the area got rid of the gambling and prostitution that drew so many to it. Falling into disrepair, it was even used as a garage in the 1970’s and was condemned for demolition in 1975. It was eventually listed as a historic monument and saved along with it’s neighbour, but was in such a bad state it had to be completely rebuilt.
Now it is occupied by the National History of Art Institute, and the Sorbonne University also holds various classes here.
- Galerie Colbert. 2 rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris. Metro: Bourse