Short description

The Passage des Panoramas, located in Paris's 2nd arrondissement, is one of the city's oldest covered passageways.
Built in 1799, it combines neoclassical aesthetics with modern elements, offering visitors a unique experience. The elegant glass roof allows natural light to illuminate the aisles, creating a warm atmosphere.
Originally a bustling shopping center, the Passage continues to attract visitors with its varied stores, from bookstores to artisan boutiques. Gastronomy also takes pride of place, with Michelin-starred restaurants and traditional bistros.
Note the Passage des Panoramas numbers:
n° 57: the premises of the famous 19th-century chocolatier Marquis, of which a beautiful coffered ceiling, the wooden entrance columns and interior mirrors remain.
n° 47: Graveur Stern, a listed store, now Caffé Stern. Above it was the first home of the Académie Julian, which taught artists such as sisters Jenny and Madeleine Zillhardt, Marie Bashkirtseff and Louise Catherine Breslau.
no. 26: Antique postcard store
n° 22: numerous stamp stores
n° 17 passage des Variétés: artists' entrance to the Théâtre des Variétés .the Théâtre des Variétés has enlivened the passage for two centuries.
Until 1829, the Susse brothers, paper makers at the time, had their store at this address before turning to foundry work. They then moved to 31 place de la Bourse
No. 16: site of the former business of music publisher and merchant Frère, since at least 1825; the store and its extensive holdings were purchased in 1841 by Alexandre Brullé (1814-1891), who in 1851 helped found the SACEM, of which he was a member until 1858.
In addition to its history, the Passage hosts cultural events and exhibitions, remaining a lively place that combines heritage and modernity.

In conclusion, the Passage des Panoramas offers an immersion in Parisian history and culture, constituting an unmissable treasure in the heart of the capital.

Localisation
Open hours

Opening : every day from 6h – 00h.

Access
  • Métro:  Lines 8 et 9 -Station Grands Boulevards

 

Address

Passage des Panoramas
11-13, boulevard Montmartre – 151, rue Montmartre
75002 Paris

Entrées: 10 rue Saint-Marc / 11 boulevard Montmartre / 38 rue Vivienne / 151 rue Montmartre
Longueur 133 m – largeur 3,2 m

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ', ") 48° 52′ 16″ N 2° 20′ 30″ E
Degré décimal (GPS 48.87115 2.34171
Full description

The Passage des Panoramas is located in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. Il is near the Garnier Opéra and the Haussmann Boulevard. It is one of the oldest covered passageways in the City of Light and in Europe. Originally, it housed over sixty habitable stores.
With its picturesque stores, fascinating history and timeless charm, the Passage des Panoramas offers a unique experience, captivating visitors and transporting them back to 19th-century Paris.
An architectural gem
The Passage des Panoramas opened in 1799, and was one of the first covered passageways built in Paris. Designed by architect François Jean Delannoy, it was intended to house a variety of shops under an elegant glass roof. The passage's architecture combines neoclassical aesthetics with modern elements of the period, creating a distinctive atmosphere that attracts lovers of history and architecture.
The glass roof and decoration
The glass roof of the Passage des Panoramas allows natural light to illuminate the aisles, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Architectural details, such as Corinthian columns and delicate ornamentation, add a touch of elegance to the whole.
A journey through commercial time
The Passage des Panoramas was once the center of Parisian commercial activity, attracting customers with its varied stores and unique attractions. Over the years, it has evolved while preserving its original character.

Today, visitors can stroll through the 133-meter passageway of intense activity. Food shops follow on from craftsmen. They rub shoulders with numerous collectors of postcards, coins, autographs and old stamps. Admire surviving period decorations, such as those of the former Marquis chocolatier and the Stern printing works, symbolizing the ambitious urban planning of the late 18th century. There are also antique bookshops and artisan souvenir stores. Antiques enthusiasts will also find what they're looking for among the many specialist shops.
Inaugurated in 1807, the Théâtre des Variétés is still in operation. It programs shows and comedies. Celebrities have been performing there for two centuries.
Gastronomy in the spotlight
In addition to its wide range of shops, the Passage des Panoramas is also renowned for its diverse gastronomic scene. Michelin-starred restaurants rub shoulders with traditional bistros, offering visitors a tantalizing array of flavors.
Whether enjoying a coffee in one of the historic brasseries or savoring exquisite cuisine in one of the Michelin-starred restaurants, the Passage des Panoramas offers a memorable culinary experience for all tastes.
Events and entertainment
The Passage des Panoramas is not just a historic venue, but also a dynamic space that regularly hosts cultural events and exhibitions. From contemporary art exhibitions to artistic performances, the Passage remains a lively place that adapts to modern trends while preserving its heritage.
The history of the Passage des Panoramas and the inventor of the American steamboat Robert Fulton
On April 26, 1799 (5 Floréal An VII), American engineer and inventor Robert Fulton (who was also a painter) was granted a ten-year patent to import the panorama invented by Robert Barker in England. To this end, he had a rotunda built in Paris along the Boulevard des Capucines, where the first French panorama, Vue de Paris depuis les Tuileries, painted by Pierre Prévost and Delafontaine, was exhibited. Fulton then sold the patent to fellow Parisian James William Thayer (1763-1835), who had just acquired the Hôtel de Montmorency-Luxembourg, where he had the future Passage des Panoramas built, topped by a double rotunda to accommodate the attraction.

Fulton, businessman and inventor

Fulton was actually in France to try and sell his submarine project, which he had christened Nautilus (a name taken up 70 years later by Jules Verne). The construction of the rotunda on the Bld des Capucines was used to finance studies and trials of his submarine. In the end, although his prototype was far superior to the competition, it was not selected by Bonaparte (apparently because of his Minister of the Navy, Decrès, an enemy of all innovation). Fulton took this rejection in his stride, and was contacted by the English, who saw the advantages of the Nautilus.

He then emigrated to the UK. But fortunately for France, the British option was not to use Engineer Fulton's knowledge. In the end, they only offered to buy his "secrets", on condition that he agreed never to put them into practice. But the American engineer turned down the offer.

The Passage des Panoramas and its American builder James William Thayer

James William Thayer was an American shipowner. On Boulevard Montmartre, he built the two towers (two rotundas 17 meters in diameter and 7 meters high) in which he installed his panoramas, painted frescoes covering the walls of a rotunda and very much in vogue at the time. To facilitate access from the Palais Royal to the Boulevard and attract customers, he opened the Passage des Panoramas, which would protect passers-by from rain and mud, on the site of the former Hôtel de Montmorency.
In 1834, the Galeries Saint-Marc, des Variétés, de Feydeau and de Montmartre were added by architect Jean-Louis Grisart to compete with the Galeries Colbert, Vivienne and Véro-Dodat.
The Passage was an immediate success, thanks to Parisians' enthusiasm for panoramic views, its exceptional location on the boulevard near the Bourse and, above all, the Théâtre des Variétés, which was built against it in 1807.
In 1816, gas lighting was also introduced.

The rotundas on Boulevard Montmartre were demolished in 1831. But if the vogue for panoramic views was dying out, that of the passage continued.
In 1989, the southernmost section was substantially altered by the construction of an apartment building on rue Saint-Marc.

Conclusion
The Passage des Panoramas is much more than just a shopping mall. It's a journey through time, an immersion in Parisian history and culture. Whether you're a history buff, an architecture enthusiast or simply looking for an authentic Paris experience, the Passage des Panoramas transports you to a bygone era, while offering you the best of the present. An unmissable treasure in the heart of the French capital.

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