Passage du Grand Cerf
Natural light filters through the spectacular 12 metre high glass ceiling, the highest of all the covered passageways and one of the most prettiest in Paris.
Black, white and grey tiles decorate the floor and timber shop fronts line the 117 metre long passage that house stylish independent boutiques that are more affordable than you would imagine in such lush surrounds.
Entering the passage at Rue Saint-Denis for the best experience, you will see above the signage the symbol of Paris, the boat. This symbol, instigated by Charles V and dating back to the 1300’s can be seen in various forms around the city, some with oars and most with three sails.
Occupying either side of this entrance you will find the trendy Le Pas Sage, clearly a play on words. A hip, casual bistro and bar with large legs of meat propped up on manche-a-gigot or leg of lamb holders for easy carving.
The passage named after the hotel which once occupied the site was built in 1825 and was one of 150 covered passageways of its time.
Unfortunately many were demolished during Baron Haussmann’s renovation of the city, making way for wide boulevards. After years of disrepair, Passage du Grand Cerf was refurbished in 1988, bringing it back to its former glory.
Behind the iron gates, now the once again elegant passageway transports you back to an era of times gone by.
Not only the magnificent architecture comprising of glass, steel and timber but also the quirky artistic shops makes Passage du Grand Cerf a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours or a rainy day in Paris.
Antiques, homewares, art and hand-made jewellery are some of the gems you can find here in the small independent specialist shops that line the passage.
The enchanting shop, with its seductive window displays; L’Illustre Boutique specialises in all things paper. Here you can buy items by local artists whether it be stationery, bags or wall hangings.
A favourite of mine with yet another seductive window display and spread out over two floors is the wonderful Marie et Benoit. Specialising in unique hand-crafted homewares and clothing from recycled military paraphernalia.
The optometrist; Pour vos Beaux Yeux has a wonderful selection of un-worn vintage eyewear that has been lovingly sourced from far and wide.
RickShaw the antiques, vintage and collectable store is bursting with furniture, lanterns, colourful door knobs, tin wall hangings and an array of homewares that will keep you busy for quite some time.
And an absolute favourite is the small boutique of Khara-Tuki, specialising in hand-made jewellery and ran by the charming and elegant Fanny Roux de Bahilhac, who is more than happy to speak English if your French isn’t good.
If you visit only one covered passageway in Paris, be sure to put this one on your list. Not only to explore the unique and very affordable shops and displays but to admire a splendid piece of Parisian history.
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Discover more of Paris’ covered passageways here:
- 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.