2 nd arrondissement Paris Pages

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Passage des Panoramas

Passage des Panoramas

On the left is the Passage des Panoramas. This was the very first place in Paris to have gas lighting installed, and was one of the most fashionable places to shop in the 19th century. In fact it no more than an early version of a shopping mall. Today there are still some very nice, small shops selling unusual things. It is a good place to come to search for a present for someone when you have run out of ideas. There are also some very nice little cafes. The name comes from the panoramas that used to be shown here. They were mainly of foreign places and battlefields, and were very popular in a time before cinema and television.

Passage des Panoramas is off Boulevard Montmartre, a few yards from the metro Grands Boulevards. Directly across the street are other covered passages, but they are located in the 9th arrondissment. So on a rainy or cold day it is possible to wander around the shops and not bother about the weather.

Passage de Choiseul

On the right is another covered passage, Passage de Choiseul, built in 1825 by Tavernier. In her at no. 52 is an art and stationery shop called Lavrut. It is a very good place to come for your own supplies, or if you want to buy a present for a friend. The stock all the usual art supplies, a wide range of quality diaries, including Filofax inserts, and good range of Moleskine. The staff are very helpful and speak English.

Passage de Choiseul
12 rue Chabanais Bourse, the Paris stock exchange
This is the Bourse, the Paris stock exchange. It was built on the site of a convent which was closed down during the revolution. It was Napoleon who ordered the building to be Greek-style. All around this area in side streets are little shop selling coins and gold bullion. And below the doorway of 44 rue Notre-Dame des Victoires.
44 rue Notre-Dame des Victoires
Le Garnd Colbert

Above left is a very nondescript building at 12 rue Chabanais. It was the location for one of the most exclusive brothels in the world. Politicians, nobelmen, and most of the European royalty came here when in Paris. On their official timetables is was listed as "a visit to the President of the Senat". When the law changed closing all brothels in 1946, this one too had to close down. And its exquisite furnishings were sold off at auction.

Left is Le Grand Colbert on rue Vivienne, which featured in the film Something's Gotta Give with Dianne Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Keanu Reeves. I loved the film, but didn't know that the restaurant was real until I walked past it. It is a typical French brasserie and English is spoken.

On the left is part of the window dressing of a tiny boulangerie called Au Pantier at 10 rue des Petit Peres. All constucted out of macaroons etc.

Au Pantier, 10 rue des Petit Peres

Galerie Colbert
Right is Galerie Vivienne, off rue Vivienne. It has recently been restored, and has a number of small shops and cafes. Near the entrance there is a shop selling everything a vine lover could ever want, they even offer wine tasting courses. Aboe is part of the ceiling decoration of Galerie Colbert, located next to Galerie vivienne. It has also just been retored, and is much more austere, but there are no shops at present. Most of the area is used by the classes of the Sorbonne University.

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Galerie Vivienne
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