Paris is full of secret covered passages. Built in 18th and early 19th century, in the areas around today’s Grands Boulevards, they are all very unique and charming, but the Galerie Vivienne is definitely the prettiest you will find in Paris. If you don’t trust us, just take a look at those mythology-themed mosaics on the floor and shiny, luxury boutiques. This covered passage is sumptuous, don’t you think?
The Galerie Vivienne was built in 1823 in neo-classical Pompeian style by the architect Francois-Jacques Delannoy and it is one of the most elegant covered passages in Paris. In a quite place, just behind the Richelieu Library and near the Palais-Royal, a former royal palace, it's definitely worth visiting. In this covered passage you can admire the colorful mosaics on the ground and its intertwined patterns signed by the famous mosaic artist Giandomenico Facchina. The beautiful glass ceilings lets the light in and allow you to enjoy the amazing architecture of this passages. The Gallery Vivienne is 176m long and has been registered as a historical monument since July 1974.
From the moment the Galerie Vivienne was inaugurated, many Parisians were attracted by its good location and many interesting shops. It was the place where you could find tailors, cobblers, wine shops, restaurants, bookstores etc. But like most covered passages in Paris, even the Galerie Vivienne had fallen into disuse at the beginning of the 20th Century. The new life of this passage started back in 1960s. Today, here you can find only chic and rather expensive luxury shops and restaurants. Jean-Paul Gaultier opened his first boutique here, and if you are fond of the designer clothing, you can visit one of the many prêt-à-porter shops, like Wolff & Descourtis or Nathalie Garçon. But, you can also have a lunch or a drink, shop some very nice wine, an old book or even a present in “Si tu veux”, children store which offers a wide selection of games and toys inspired by the famous Montessori method.
The perfect place to take a break and delicious lunch in the Galerie Vivienne is - Bistrot Vivienne. This french bistro with a typical Parisian 19th century atmosphere, has a fireplace at the ground floor, cozy armchairs and large seats upstairs. You should also check their very interesting cabinet of curiosities. The Bistrot Vivienne chef, Philippe Le Guen, was awarded by the "Bronze Medal of the City of Paris" and the restaurant has received by Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, the title of "Bistrot Parisien" for the year of 2017.
The Galerie Vivienne, the prettiest covered passage in Paris is open every day from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm. The Galerie has the entrances from the rue des Petits-Champs, rue de la Banque and rue Vivienne.
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