Just one step from the Grands Boulevards, one of the most crowded and busiest streets in Paris, you will find the entrance to the oldest covered passage in Paris - Passage des Panoramas. Go and have a look. You will be more than astonished. Push the door of the world famous philately shops or just go for a walk and enjoy the amazing atmosphere. You will be transported at first sight in the 19th century Paris.
The Galerie Vivienne is maybe the prettiest and the Passage Brady the most exotic covered passage, but Passage des Panoramas built in 1799 carries the title of the oldest surviving Parisian covered passage. It was also the first covered passage illuminated with gas lamps in 1816. The name of this covered passage comes from the two large rotundas built at the entrance of the passage to display panoramic paintings of cities like Paris, Rome and Jerusalem. The large rotundas are no longer at the entrance, but the Passage des Panoramas is still one of the main places of Parisian philatelic trade. Today, this is the very charming place, full of little shops, different styles and merchandises and definitely worth visiting. Since July 1974, the Passage des Panoramas is registered as a historic monument.
Need to buy some old stamps, postcards or coins? Then look no further. The Passage des Panoramas is the place you are looking for. Under its beautiful stained glass ceilings, you will find not less than a half a dozen philatelists’ shops, like Marigny Philatélie where you can get some really rare stamps. But that's not all. You can walk along the passage and admire its decorations. Just take a look on the facade of the Marquis chocolatier or Stern printing, symbolizing the ambitious urbanism of the late eighteenth century. Also, several great wine bars, like Coinstot Vino, specialized in so-called natural wines are recently opened and the Variétés Theatre, inaugurated in 1809, is still live and active. The Passage des Panoramas is also known as a special place of Louis Aragon, a French poet and one of the leading voices of the surrealist movement in France. This covered passage was also featured in Emile Zola’s 1880 novel "Nana".
December evening three months afterward Count Muffat was strolling in the Passage des Panoramas. The evening was very mild, and owing to a passing shower, the passage had just become crowded with people. There was a perfect mob of them, and they thronged slowly and laboriously along between the shops on either side. Under the windows, white with reflected light, the pavement was violently illuminated”, “Nana”, Emil Zola.
The Passage des Panoramas, Parisian covered passage is open all year round, even on January 1 and December 25, without interruption from 6 AM to midnight. You’ll find the entrances at 11, Boulevard Montmartre and 158, rue Montmartre.
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