Passages Through Paris
Yes, the parks are beautiful, food is great, museums are stunning, and for the first timer doing the 10 country in 9 day European tour, and the Eiffel Tour is a ridiculous hoot. But the joy of Paris at any time of year is drifting through Paris’s remaining passages, or passages couverts. During the 19th century these commercial alleys catered to upper class Parisians. Many were built through or between the city’s massive buildings, and above these passageways are canopies of glass that both sheltered shoppers from the elements and gave these paths various shades of luminescence. As many as 150 of these passages were dispersed through Paris, but as the change in shopping habits evolved throughout France, many disappeared. Department stores and urban renewal projects took their tool, and now less than 20 remain. Nevertheless, you can spend plenty of time wandering through them. Sip a pastis, peruse through a used bookstore, or gawk at an eclectic clothing store. Navigating through these architectural gems is one of the best ways to spend a day in Paris. Enjoy the photos!