PASSAGE DU CAIRE
Passage du Caire and the land it stands on has a rich and intriguing past.
Ambient lighting, mosaic flooring and chic boutiques is not what you will find at Passage du Caire.
But let me tell you a little more before you run away.
What you will find is an ancient covered passageway which is the oldest and longest in Paris, an unusual glass ceiling and the most unique façade of all the Covered Passages in Paris.
It is one of my favourites, perhaps because it is so unusual.
PASSAGE DU CAIRE was built on the site of an old convent dating back to the 1300’s, known as Filles-Dieu.
It was here that prostitutes, lured in by the fresh water drinking fountain and once over the threshold, were taken in to the convent and converted to change their ways, hence the name (God’s-Girls).
It is said that the tombstones of the nuns from the convent, were used to pave the passageway.
Three heads of the Godess Hathor and ‘hieroglyphics’ adorn the intriguing façade at the Place du Caire entrance.
It is believed the passageway and the unusual façade came about during Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt in 1798.
At this time, all things Egyptian were fashionable and the passageway and nearby streets were given Egyptian names in Napoleon’s honour.
The passage was originally known as Passage de la Foire du Caire (Passage of the Fair of Cairo) and later changed to Passage du Caire – the Passage of Cairo.
In the 1840’s it was the hub of printing and lithography but is now home to pret a porter, ready to wear fashion manufacturers and wholesalers and shops selling mannequins.
Passage du Caire is the longest, oldest and narrowest covered passageway in Paris and dates back to 1789.
It may be a little worse for wear and not the most elegant of covered passageways in Paris.
However, I encourage you to visit and admire the unique façade, the ancient glass ceiling and explore the three adjoining passageways, measuring a total of 360 metres in length.
You may have guessed that I have a little soft spot for this passage, which most tourists don’t know about or simply push to the side.
Passage du Caire can be combined with a visit to nearby Passage des Panoramas MAP
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Read about my visit to Passage du Caire but probably more interesting … More Covered Parisian Passages below :
Travelling light is a good thing, as long as you don’t wait until you have nothing clean left to wear, and places to go! Fortunately, last night, I had a pretty new skirt to wear to dinner. En route to meeting The New Yorker at Café Panis, on the left bank, left me a few …
- Le Passage des PrincesAmber lamps, giving off a warm, golden glow, with a beautiful glass ceiling, the entire passageway is dedicated to toys.
- Passage VerdeauExplore antiques, rare books and vintage postcards beneath the elegant, neoclassical, glass ceiling, then continue over the road to Passage Jouffroy.
- Passage JouffroySift through old books at the famous bookstore; Librairie Paul Vulin as you walk upon geometric black, white and grey tiles and discover the quaint Hotel Chopin.
- Passage des PanoramasBuilt in 1799 and inspired by the Oriental Souks, Passage des Panoramas is one of the oldest passageways in the world.
- Passage du CaireA unique façade, a magnificent glass ceiling, 360 metres in length, Passage du Caire is the oldest and longest Passage in Paris
- Passage du Grand CerfNatural light drenches this elegant passageway from its 12 metre high glass ceiling with unique boutiques.
- Passage du PradoRarely mentioned in travel guides, with not a tourist in sight, this unique passage was once in the heart of fashionable Paris.
- Passage du Bourg l’AbbéSubtle and elegant pastel interior, muted by natural light from the unusual curved glass ceiling.
- Passage de l’AncreWho would know a delightful, tranquil little piece of paradise could be hidden away behind an unassuming crooked doorway in the heart of Paris.