Passage de l’Ancre

Passage de l’Ancre


It would be easy to pass by the wonky blue doors on Rue Saint-Martin in the 3rd arrondissement without a second glance.

Paint peeling from the surrounding shutters, the door lintel on a precarious angle, groaning under the weight of the apartments above.


But stepping through the dimly lit entrance, to discover one of Paris’ secret passages will prove to be a pleasant reward.






A riot of colour bouncing off the walls and light flooding in from above.




Small businesses line the private passage with their brightly painted façades.

Pot plants abound, flourishing with lush green plants.








And ivy dripping from the walls, creates a charming and tranquil ambiance.

The narrow passage measuring 2.5 metres wide, once connected Rue Saint-Martin with Rue du Bourg l’Abbé until Boulevard de Sébastopol was created in 1855 severing the thoroughfare.

Today, Passage de l’Ancre meaning passage of the anchor, connects Rue Saint-Martin with Rue de Turbigo.



The passage was renamed Passage de l’Ancre-Royale but during the French Revolution became Passage de l’Ancre-Nationale and today it is simply the Passage of the Anchor.

This is where in the 1640’s Monsieur Sauvage set up the first ‘taxi’ fiacre service at his Inn; Hôtel Saint-Fiacre.

Saint-Fiacre became known as the patron saint for taxi drivers.

It is believed that some of his customers were Royal Navy personnel and perhaps this is where the anchor came into play.






The pretty passage which is considered one of the oldest in Paris is now home to independent businesses and apartments above.

You won’t find fashion boutiques or shoe shops here, instead what you will find is L’Atelier de Fred, the workshop of Fred, a famous globe trotting TV chef who conducts cooking classes and the very unusual workshop of Pep’s umbrella repairs.

Pep’s, with the distinctive colourful signage of a man wearing a bowler hat and carrying a red umbrella has been repairing and making custom-made umbrellas since 1960.

Passage de l’Ancre is steeped in history and such a marvellous little find away from the hustle and bustle of the nearby busy streets. Discovering quiet secret passageways like this in Paris, are moments to be cherished.

Who would know such a delightful and tranquil little piece of paradise could be tucked away behind an unassuming crooked doorway.


Passage de l’Ancre has two entrances; rue Saint-Martin and rue de Turbigo however I would highly recommend the rue Saint-Martin entrance for the best experience.

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Paris Adèle’s Information Nécessaire:


Passage de l’Ancre – MAP
223 rue Saint-Martin
Paris 75003


Alternative entrance
30 rue de Turbigo – MAP
Paris 75003

Opening Times:
Monday – Saturday during business hours
Closed Sundays

Nearest Metro:
Réamur-Sebastopol and Arts et Métiers

PEP’s Umbrella Repairs – Official Website

A visit to Passage de l’Ancre could be combined with a visit to the secret giant Angel of Paris, Arts et Metiers Museum and lunch or dinner at Ambassade d’Auvergne:

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You can read about my experience at Passage de l’Ancre below:

Stepping Out in Paris

  With no pain killers and all the pharmacies closed on New Years Day had me confined in the apartment all day. Perhaps it wasn’t a bad thing to finally get some rest and sleep. However, today had me feeling quite proud of myself. Not only did I step out today but I managed to tell …

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2 Responses to Passage de l’Ancre

  • http://Cathy%20C

    I tried to go here when I was in Paris this August but it was closed for the holidays. I was quite disappointed. It’s definitely on my list for when I return in two years time!

  • http://FIONA%20THOMSON

    What a treat to venture here fr9m your fb page. Will need a few hours to pour over everything. Thanks Adele

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