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The covered passage of Paris are a wonderful yet not talked about attraction of Paris. These Belle Epoque era walkways were constructed to keep the businessman and the well to do of Paris protected from the smells and grime of the streets. The passages not only were short cuts between parallel streets but provided eating and shopping establishments. Today, they serve a similar function but are open to the public and are a great way to explore another side of Paris especially if the weather is not so great.
In my last article, I showed you the first two passages, Galeries Vivienne and Passage Choiseul, from the self guided tour I did. For this article, I will round out the rest of the tour with three more covered passages.
In my previous post, I shared a resource I used to tour the covered passages of Paris. I love the covered passages of Paris. They are like time machines back to the beautiful Belle Epoque era and are perfect for when the weather isn’t. Each passage has its own unique look and feel making them each fascinating to explore. This post will mostly be pictorial.
Let’s start with Galerie Vivienne, one of the most known and iconic of the passages.
Entrance to Galerie Vivienne.
The first thing you will noticed is the beautiful tiled floor and the glass ceiling. Stunning.
Galerie Vivienne passageway
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Bonne Année! Happy New Year! Well 2016 was a doozy but here we are one week down in 2017 so let’s get right into it.
One thing of Paris that I think doesn’t get enough attention are covered passages of Paris. Now found only on the Right Bank, these Belle Epoque era walkways offer a glimpse of the past and provide some very unique shopping experiences.
The covered passages, many with glass ceilings, were originally created as a way for Parisians to avoid bad weather (still true today) and the smell and grime of the streets (also somewhat true today). Just as in the past, the covered passages also provide a short cut between streets and some really fun window shopping. Only about 15 of the original 60 passages are left and each passage has its own character and are really fun to explore especially on rainy days.
When my friend and I set out to explore them, I printed out the super easy map from Smarter Paris. Smarter Paris does have an app but because the phone I was using was really old and didn’t have a SIM card (my new phone had had an unfortunate encounter with a bowl of water and was drying out), I printed out the map and followed it effortlessly. Passage des Princes was the only one we couldn’t find but I think that was due to the construction covering up some street names.
It takes about 3-4 hours depending on how often you stop to look and shop so definitely plan for half a day.
In the next several posts, I will be sharing photos of the covered passages we explored.
You probably have been wondering where The Paris Itinerary has been. It’s been crickets for awhile.
Well…The Paris Itinerary is expanding which is so exciting but with growth comes growing pains!
Part of this expansion includes some additional resources to help you better plan your trip to Paris! This includes some itinerary planning and webinars. Don’t worry, the blog will still be around but just not a dedicated weekly post.
As a big merci beaucoup (thank you) for being a loyal and valuable reader, all launches will be announced to my email subscribers first! If you happened to have just found The Paris Itinerary be sure to sign up as a subscriber and get the free video on what to pack and how to pack for Paris in the fall and winter all in a carry on bag!
While The Paris Itinerary expands to better serve you, be sure to check out The Paris Itinerary Facebook page. There I share blog posts as well as great curated information from other sources. Don’t forget on Facebook, you have to like or comment on the posts to still see The Paris Itinerary on your Facebook feed even if you have liked the page. You can also set up a notification so you know when something new has posted.
Starting soon, The Paris Itinerary will be more regular on Pinterest. You can also find The Paris Itinerary on Instagram and Twitter so whichever social media channel you prefer, I will be there!
Now, I have a question for you. What do you want to see or learn more about that will help you check Paris off your bucket list?
Located in the popular Saint Germain-des-Pres area of Paris (6th arrondissement), the Abbey of Saint Germain-des-Pres is one of the oldest churches in Paris with parts of the church dating back to Roman times.
© 2016 The Paris Itinerary
The Abbey is a mix of different architectural styles due to its long history of renovations but has the familiar cavernous sanctuary and soaring arches as well as beautiful wall frescoes and some amazing trompe l’oeil. You will notice the the “mason work” is really painted outlines to look like stone.
Painted frescoes – ©2016 The Paris Itinerary
Trompe l’oeil on the walls of the Abbey of Saint Germain-des-Pres – ©2016 The Paris Itinerary
Why you should visit:
- Being one of (if not the) oldest church in Paris, you can view the many histories of Paris in its architecture.
- Rarely busy (as in I have never had to wait in line to enter), this is an easy pop in and see site of Paris. It is also located directly across the street from Les Deux Magots (and a few more steps from Cafe de Flore) so after you have sipped your cafe au lait and finished your croissant, stroll over and see this magnificent church.
- You may be treated to organ practice. On my last visit, I enjoyed some lovely organ music as I explored.
- FREE. Abbey of Saint-Germain-de-Pres is still an active church so entrance is free although donations are accepted.
- Free guided tours are every Tuesday and Thursday at 3pm according to their website. However, Google showed Tuesday’s tour being at 11am…well it is France and everything is subject to change.
- If you miss the guided tour and really want a guide, there is an audio guide available on Google Play and Apple Store. There is a fee for the app download.
- You don’t need a guide (in person or audio) to enjoy this lovely church.
The Abbey of Saint Germain-des-Pres ©2016 The Paris Itinerary
How to get there:
- Address: 3 Place Saint-Germain des Pres 75006 (6th arrondissement)
- Metro stop: Saint Germain des Pres
- Directly across the street from Les Deux Magots
I hope you add the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres to your Paris itinerary. Just like Sainte Chapelle is an easy add on visit if seeing Notre Dame, the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres is an easy add-on if visiting the Saint Germain des Pres area and especially if you are stopping at the famous Les Deux Magots or Cafe de Flore cafes.
Have you visited the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres? What did you think?