Simply other Passages of Paris!

As I sit in my window looking out a hot breezy summer day in the Morbihan breton, I can’t help thinking of my walks in Paris. As said, Paris is an outdoor living museum, like no other, and by far the most beautiful city in the World. I did and do a lot of walking in Paris, if need to take the bus above ground Paris is glorious.

Some of these walks made me realize further the beauty of the city, in its history, architectures and facts. One of these pleasant walks took me to see two passages or covered walkways of Paris seldom seen and full of charm. I like to tell you about them now.

The Passage du Bourg-l’Abbé  with a length of 43 meters allows to pass from 120, rue Saint-Denis to 3, Rue de  Palestro, originally  extended until the passage de l’Ancre, but it was notched by the piercing of the boulevard de Sébastopol.  It was built in 1828 ,and the mezzanine retains original ornaments, the entrance to the side of the Rue de Palestro, designed by the architect Henri Blondel in 1863,, also architect of the Bourse de Commerce (trade exchange house) . Henri Blondel will come back in 1889 on the Rue de Palestro for a house built  at 15 rue du Louvre , but will give more scope to its composition by doubling the entrance arcade and accompanying the opening of powerful figures of Atlantis’s.   The Cariatides, sculpted by Aimé Millet, in 1863 author of the Grand Apollon of the Opéra Garnier are allegories of trade and industry, symbolized respectively by the anchor, attribute of the Merchant Navy, and by Machines parts.  The nooks of it is filled with a beehive, emblem of economic activity.

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It is located at 120, rue Saint-Denis – 3, Rue Palestro, with access on Metro: Etienne Marcel ,line 4 and Bus 29 arrêt/stop Etienne Marcel.  Open from Monday to Saturday from 7h30 to 19h30. It bears the name of a village called “Le Bourg l’abbé”, which bore this name because it depended on the abbot of St. Martin.

It has little activity today and hardly ever notice not even in the Paris tourist office lineup, however, it is very nice historical piece of covered passageways in Paris and will do good to stop by passing by here.

In 1825, the House of the Taxi of the Grand Cerf, which was the terminus of the Royal Couriers, was demolished. The opening date of the passage remains unclear. It was probably opened in 1835. The style of the canopy is however of a later period. The history of the Passage du Grand Cerf is closely linked to the history of the neighborhood ( quartier)  Saint-Denis which was in 1830 the most popular and industrious of Paris where there were small factories and workshops.  Its height, 11.80 meters, the highest in Paris, and a lenght of 113 meters was the most important of all the Parisian passages. It’s partially metallic structure allowed building two levels of fully glass facade. The house only starts from the third floor. Thus, it was said that this Passage was more intended for production and handicrafts than for the luxury and sale of its products. In 1862, it was bequeathed to Public Assistance. A gradual disaffection interfered with its maintenance. Abandoned for many years, the Passage of the Grand Cerf was rehabilitated in 1990. It is today one of the most attractive passages in Paris. The “fleas” market of contemporary furniture are held twice a year.

The passage of the Grand Cerf, connects the 145, rue de Saint Denis to 8, rue Dussoubs, in the 2éme arrondissement of Paris, in the neighborhood or quartier of Bonne-Nouvelle. The name of the passage refers to the old sign of a hotel. The passage is open in 1825 on the site of the Grand Cerf Hotel. This hotel, which belonged to the Hospices administration, is also across the passage of the Bourg-l’Abbé which faces it, in rue Saint-Denis, was inaugurated in April 1828 and ,however, a guide dated 1831 indicates that the passage of the Grand-Cerf is still under construction…  The current architecture of the passage makes it rather go back to the year 1845 than 1825. This is actually the year where this passage was covered by a large canopy. The use of metal structures made it possible to situate it at a high height and thus to raised large glass surfaces in height, at the level of the interior facades of the shops.

The passage was built on the location of the Terminus house of the Grand Cerf where the Royal stagecoaches brought the courier destined for the east of France. The decoration is in neoclassical style, the metal walkways and the woodwork showcases bring a chic and sober side, two floors of skylights illuminate the passage. The shops of the passage of the Grand Cerf are mainly those of designers and creators (jewelers, furniture.etc..). It was necessary to invest to maintain it and finally the Public Assistance plans to sell it. After failure to sell it , it was finally sold in 1985. This allowed to restore it and rebuild it identically.

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A sequence of the film by Louis Malle ,Zazie  dans le Métro (in the metro/subway/tube ) was shot in 1960 in the passage.  Anne Français (1909-1995), painter, lived at 4, passage du Grand-Cerf. The birthplace of the French politician, Léon Blum is located next to the passage, at number 151, formerly number 243. An episode of the series Les Cinq Derniére Minutes (the last five minutes), with Jacques Debary, was shot in the passage du Grand Cerf.  The TV show Un Coeur sur Mesure ( a custom-made heart), is first broadcast  on 25 July 1981. The crime takes place in a tailor shop located in the gallery.

It is located at  145, rue Saint-Denis – 8, rue Dussoubs with access on Metro Etienne Marcel line 4 or Bus  29, arrêt/stop Etienne Marcel.

A more popular and active passage, with a reference in the Paris tourist office. Info here: Passage du Grand Cerf

And there it goes folks, another trivia walking tour of Paris. And some interesting nice building passageways as well. Not far from the Palais Brongniart, post written earlier in my blog.

Hope it helps your curiosity. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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3 Comments to “Simply other Passages of Paris!”

  1. This is truly lovely and a different way to see Paris that I’d never heard about before! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love these but they’re easy to miss when you’re wandering around if you don’t know what to look for.

    Liked by 1 person

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