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Another one of my favorite Parisian passages is the Passage du Grand Cerf in the 2nd arrondisement, mostly because of the stark contrast between its beautiful interior and the reality of the  sex shops just bordering the entrance on Rue Saint-Denis.  The passage was built in 1825 and named after a pre-revolutionary  inn that stood in the same location. The street which extends off of the passage (Rue Marie Stuart) was once the terminus of the royal mail coach service bringing letters and packages from eastern France.  Earlier, Untapped covered the  delightfully aged patina of the Passage Bourg L’Abbé which is just across the street from the Passage du Grand Cerf!

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The sex shops of Paris cluster along Rue Saint-Denis:

Especially noteworthy in the Passage du Grand Cerf is the black & white (and gray) tiled floor, the clarity of the light flowing through the glass ceiling, the warmth of the wood, the intricacy of the ironwork, and simply how well-maintained it looks:

The passage is filled with appropriately gentrified shops selling doorknobs, whacky light fixtures, children’s clothes and more. It even has a website

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But even amidst the yuppiness, there’s some elements of the past, including this fantastic iron balcony, crown molding and some very dusty fleur-de-lis guarding an entrance:

Passage du Grand Cerf has entrances on Place Goldoni & on Rue Saint-Denis

2nd Arrondisement

 2nd arrondissement, passage, walter benjamin

6 Responses
  1. I like the way you catch details, it’s a beautiful passage unfortunatly it used to be more lively but… “je vous parle d’un temps que les moins de 20 ans ne peuvent pas connaitre”.
    There is a nice shop : “Richshaw” in the west side of the passage which sell nice asian furnitures and bibelots.

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