A lovely sunny day in the middle of winter and Parisians’ spirits go up! A beautiful blue sky, not a single cloud, mild temperatures: it almost felt like spring yesterday in Paris. And with this lovely weather, all I wanted to do was go for a walk and take pictures. I woke up early to make the most of the day and went for a stroll around the Royal Palace. Let me take you with me, here we go!
THE ROYAL PALACE
The Gardens of the Royal Palace are a real haven of peace in the heart of Paris. Once you enter these gardens, the agitation of the nearby rue de Rivoli street feels very far away. A cosy and peaceful atmosphere floats on this little green setting.
On that Saturday morning, the light was soft and everyone was peacefully going about their businesses: the daddy who would not let go of the hand of his little girl, the neighborhood’s residents walking their dogs, the joggers running around the park, the tai-shi enthousiasts, the lovers walking hand in hand, the tourists playing the star on the famous Buren columns… They were all there to make the most of this sunny day in their own way.
The Royal Palace was just supposed to be the starting point of a stroll around the covered passages but in the end I stayed there over an hour to immortalize these lovely everyday scenes.
THE LOVELY COLBERT GALLERY
I left the garden by the rue Beaujolais street to go on with my stroll and explore the covered passages that make this area famous.
Paris had up to 150 passages. They were built during the first half of the 19th century to protect the elegant Parisians from bad weather. Unfortunately they did not last long as most of them were destroyed during the second half of the 19th century when baron Haussmann started his great works in the city.
Today, only a handful of passages remain. They are usualy made up of a glass roof and flanked with gorgeous boutiques and restaurants. Some are richly decorated, other are more simple. They all have their own charm and are worth a detour.
The Colbert Gallery was the first passage I discovered that day. It was unfortunately closed but I could see how beautiful it was through the fence. Make sure to check opening times if you wish to visit these galleries as some are closed on Sundays and most are closed at night.
THE LUXURIOUS VIVIENNE GALLERY
I left the Colbert gallery and continued my stroll towards the gorgeous Vivienne Gallery, located on rue des Petits Champs street. This gallery was definitely the most beautiful spot I discovered that day! As I reached the doors, I knew I was in for some amazing surprise…
As soon as I stepped in, I was indeed filled with wonder. The floor is covered with mosaics, the walls are richly decorated with paintings, sculptures, moldings: how not to succumb to the charm of this little hidden gem?
PLACE DES VICTOIRES
Before entering the Vivienne Gallery, I had spotted the statue of our dear king Louis 14th, standing proudly at the center of the Place des Victoires square. I went out the way I had gotten in, on rue des Petits-Champs street (there is another entrance at the other end of the Vivienne gallery) to go and explore this lovely square.
I discovered another beautiful gallery, very close to the place de la place des Victoires square. The Vero-Dodat gallery is known for housing the boutique of a famous shoe-maker…
THE PANORAMAS PASSAGE
Then I walked back to rue Vivienne street and discovered three other passages.
The Panoramas passage was very different from the previous galleries I had discovered and I really liked it as well. It is filled with restaurants and little boutiques selling old stamps and postcards.
I was curious to try the « Gyoza Bar ». I opened the door to a lovely and surprising place. A few chairs were gathered around the open kitchen where delicious gyosas are prepared (and only gyosas!). My table neighbor was there that day to explore the gorgeous covered passages just like I was. She told me that some passages were leading to a theater so that the elegant Parisians of the 19th century would not ruin their precious outfits on their way to the theater. There was indeed a theater in the heart of the Panoramas Passage.
Two other covered passages follow one another as you exit the Panoramas Passage: the Jouffroy Passage (located very close to the famous Grevin museum) and the Verdeau Passage. They were also quite lovely but these were not the ones I preferred that day.
I hope you enjoyed this lovely Parisian stroll. Which covered passage did you prefer?