Paris - Ile De France

Passage du Caire – shopping gallery Paris

This page was updated on: Sunday, January 5, 2020 at: 5:35 pm

Passage du Caire - Sentier district

The Passage du Caire is located in Le Sentier, Paris’ textile industry district, where you’ll find wholesalers, distributors, tailors, subcontractors and retail shops.

It’s Paris’ second oldest covered gallery and one of the few remaining covered passages of Paris.

It was built in 1799 in the gardens of a 13th century convent demolished during the French Revolution.

It’s a bit macabre, but the passage’s floor was originally paved with the nuns’ tombstones!

The Passage du Caire is also Paris’ longest covered passage, as it’s not linear.

It’s a set of three connected galleries, Galerie du Caire, Galerie Saint-Denis and Galerie Sainte-Foy with four entrances, 33 Rue d’Alexandrie, 239 Rue Saint-Denis, 16-34-44 Rue du Caire and 2 Place du Caire.

This industrious beehive, which also attracted lithography and straw hats workshops, was never trendy.

It never had the charm and refinement of the other Parisian covered galleries; however, it escaped demolition during the 20th century, as the redevelopment project proved far too expensive.

The Passage du Caire is open to the public and gives a different perspective of Paris!

Its architecture certainly doesn't take your breath away; the small houses that border it all have a cellar; shops are on the ground floor, dwellings on the upper-floor and the attic lofts above the glass roof.

Oriental-inspired decoration

Its unusual and eclectic decoration, on the other hand, reflects the public craze for Orientalism triggered by Napoleon’s military expeditions to Egypt; hence the Doric and Egypt-inspired patterns on the columns that support the glass roof.

However, the facade of the building where the passage exits at no2 Place du Caire, is a perfect illustration of this Egyptian-inspired architectural style!

Indeed, it is adorned with three effigies of Hathor the Egyptian goddess of Love and Motherhood, who is traditionally represented as a cow goddess holding the sun disk between her horns.

However, the sculptor Joseph Garraud seems to have given free rein to his imagination in 1828, when he represented Hathor with cow’s ears!

He also produced a frieze of whimsical hieroglyphics above the heads and the lotus-shaped windows.

Le Champollion, the bistro that occupies the building’s ground floor is more recent, but didn't escape the 'oriental trend'!

It was named after Jean-François Champollion who accompanied Napoleon to Egypt and deciphered the Rosetta Stone.

So yes, the Passage du Caire is quite unusual, but it’s definitely worth the visit, as you might also get a good deal with some wholesalers!

Free admission
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri - 7am-6.30pm

Directions: 2nd district
Metro: Sentier on Line 3
2 Place du Caire: Lat 48.868099 - Long 2.348745
33 Rue d’Alexandrie: Lat 48.868386 - Long 2.349820
239 Rue St-Denis: Lat 48.867596 - Long 2.351554
16 Rue du Caire: Lat 48.867486 - Long 2.351210

Richelieu mausoleum in front of high altar in Sorbonne Chapel

June 5 2020

Sorbonne Chapel and Cardinal de Richelieu tomb

Sorbonne chapel, the college’s private chapel, is a masterpiece of French classical architecture that houses Cardinal Richelieu’s mausoleum
Villa Seurat - Maison Quillet at No.8 by Lurçat

May 14 2020

Villa Seurat, a showcase of Modernist architecture

Villa Seurat, a showcase of the Roaring Twenties’ Modernist architecture and a Cité d’Artistes where Arthur Miller wrote Tropic of Cancer
Theatre de La Comedie Italienne in Rue de la Gaite

April 29 2020

Rue de la Gaite in Montparnasse

Rue de la Gaite in Montparnasse district, a street nicknamed Theater St. as it’s been essentially lined with entertainment halls since the 1780s
Pont de la Concorde seen from Rive Gauche

April 14 2020

Pont de la Concorde in Paris

The Pont de la Concorde links Place de la Concorde to the National Assembly and was built at the French Revolution with stones from the Bastille Fortress

Sign up to our newsletter

Travel France Online will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates via our newsletter. By selecting the boxes on the form you confirm your acceptance to receive our newsletter.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by Contacting Us

We will treat your information with respect. For more information please visit our privacy policy page