Thursday, 29 March 2007

Paris: Shopping Arcades

Shopping arcades were very fashionable at the beginning of the 19th century, until the advent of electricity and walkways. There are still about 20 of them in Paris, 2 of which can be found on Boulevard Montmartre.

Passage Jouffroy has secondhand bookshops, toy stores and access to Hotel Chopin.
Just across the street is Passage des Panoramas - named after the landscapes painted by the American artist Fulton, which gave visitors the illusion of being in London or Athens (apparently).
The arcade still houses the engraver, Stern and the Arbre à Cannelle tea rooms, with their Napoleon III decor.
The arcades have the air of an oriental bazaar and can still serve as a refuge from bad weather.