Paris Travel Planner   Sébastopol Passages, Paris, France
Although somewhat removed from the major tourist areas, these passages are very interesting and worth a visit.



There are four passages just off the Boulevard de Sébastopol, in the 2nd arrondissement and north of Les Halles.

The wonderfully-named Passage du Grand Cerf (Great Stag Passage) is just across the street from the lovely Passage du Bourg-l'Abbé. A few blocks north are the Egyptian-themed Passage du Caire, and across from it the Passage du Ponceau.

The Passage du Grand Cerf is known for its beautiful iron work and its high and large roof. It was probably completed in about 1835, with the roof added more recently. As with many of the passages, it was renovated in the late 20th century. Today it is known as a center of fashion and design.

  Barometer, Passage Bourg-l'Abbé, Paris
  Above, Barometer, Bourg-l'Abbé.

The Passage du Bourg-l'Abbé is noteworthy for its beautiful carved entryway. Inside, a lovely clock and barometer can be seen at either end of the passage.

Although it suffered from a fire some years ago, it has been restored and is more active today.

Farther north you will come to the Rue du Caire and the fascinating Passage du Caire, one of the oldest, longest, and most unusual of the passages.

Built in 1798, it has many branches and "side streets," where you can wander. Its name reflects the emphasis on all things Egyptian that came from Napoléon's Egyptian Campaign (he went to Cairo in 1798).

  Passage du Caire, Paris

The facade of the building on the Place du Caire includes three large heads of the Egyptian Goddess Hathor, with her cow ears. Its lovely and unexpected in the middle of Paris.

Situated in the garment district, the Passage du Caire formerly specialized in creating straw hats, and it was also home to printers and lithographers. Today the Passage du Caire still caters largely to clothing and accessories, much of it wholesale.

Across the Rue Saint-Denis is the Passage du Ponceau, dating from 1826. It was originally designed to extend the Passage du Caire. It's quite narrow and high, and the glass roof has been replaced with a plastic. It hosts a number of restaurants, largely fast food, and retail shops selling clothing, shoes, and the like.

Detail, Passage Ponceau, Paris
Detail of entrance to Passage du Ponceau.

All four of these passages are in the northeastern part of the 2nd arrondissement, just off of the Boulevard de Sébastopol.

Métro: Étienne Marcel (for Grand Cerf and Bourg l'Abbé); Réamur Sébastopol (for Caire and Ponceau)

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Passage Grand Cerf, Paris

Above, Beautiful high roof of the
Passage du Grand Cerf.

Below, Facade of the Passage du Caire.

Passage du Caire, Paris

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Passage Bourg l'Abbé, Paris
Above, Entrance of Passage Bourg-L'Abbé.

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