Paris - Ile De France
Passage des Princes, the haunt of video games and models
Passage des Princes, the last covered gallery built in Paris
The Passage des Princes connects no5 Boulevard des Italiens to no97 Rue de Richelieu.
It's a stone's throw from the Passage des Panoramas, Passage Verdeau and Jouffroy, farther along the Grands Boulevards.
It was the last covered passage built in Paris; it was indeed inaugurated in 1860, just before Baron Haussmann embarked in his extensive renovation of Paris.
En 1859, the banker Jules Mirès acquired Le Grand Hotel des Princes et de l’ Europe at no97 rue de Richelieu.
He built the Passage des Princes to connect it to his bank located in the building he already owned at no7 Boulevard des Italiens.
As a result, the Passage des Princes became one of the most elegant and affluent covered galleries of Paris.
Interestingly, the current Passage des Princes is not the original covered gallery.
A covered passage rebuilt to the identical
Mirès' covered shopping arcade was indeed demolished in 1985 to ease the construction of the contemporary buildings that frame it on Boulevard des Italiens.
The gallery was rebuilt to the identical, but not the entrance which is definitively very modern.
However, the entrance on rue de Richelieu and the building it cuts through are original, as an inner courtyard separates the buildings on Boulevard des Italiens and the street.
The architects in charge of the redevelopment re-used the impressive coloured glass cupola with yellow and pink roses against a yellow background created in the 1930s.
The Passage des Princes has therefore retained its original elegance and old fashion charm.
It's not only a great shortcut between the lively Grands Boulevards and Rue de Richelieu, but it's also considered the Mecca of games, video games and scale models shops.
A beautiful gallery to discover, and a great hit with children!
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday - 8am to 8pm - Closed on Sunday
Directions: 9th district - no5 Boulevard des Italiens - no97 Rue de Richelieu.
Metro station: Richelieu-Drouot on Lines 8,9
Coordinates: Lat 48.871725 – Long 2.339196