Cour du Commerce Saint Andre
Cour du Commerce Saint Andre lies in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
It indeed links no130 Boulevard St-Germain to no59 rue Saint-André-des-Arts.
It has a third entrance at no21 rue de l’Ancienne Comédie.
The main section of the 120m long by 3,5m wide passage is in the open-air.
The entrance porch cuts through a building on Boulevard Saint-Germain, and the section exiting on rue Saint-André-des-Arts is covered with a glass-roof.
A metal grid, closed at night, delineates this section from the open-air section.
The Cour du Commerce Saint Andre was open in 1776.
It runs through the site of the former Jeu de Paume or tennis courts of the Hôtel de Rohan, the Parisian mansion of the Bishop of Rouen in Normandy.
Cour du Commerce Saint Andre also follows a section of the perimeter wall King Philippe-Auguste built in the late 12th century.
Many buildings bordering the passage therefore contain vestiges of this rampart.
Some of the vestiges are quite extensive; they are all listed Historical Monuments but are not visible as they are located on private properties.
Cour du Commerce Saint Andre was known as Cour du Commerce until 1877.
It is one of the few remaining passages to have retained its original cobblestones.
The shops’ facades, windows and roofs, the three entrances and the glass-roof were listed Historical Monuments in 1987.
Café Procope and Relais Odéon
The passage boast several old fashioned shops and cafes, however, the Café Procope and the Relais Odéon stand out..
Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, a young nobleman from Palermo in Sicily, founded the Café Procope in the 17th century.
The establishment is officially considered the first Parisian Café.
The Relais Odéon or Bistro 1900 is located by the entrance on Boulevard Saint-Germain.
The establishment has kept its superb Art Nouveau facade, which is now listed.
Why not stop at its terrace for a café crème…unless you decide in favour of lunch at Le Procope, where you might recognize someone famous…
Directions: 6th district
Metro: Odéon on Lines 4 or 10
Coordinates: Lat 48.853039 – Long 2.339085