The Passage des Princes, built in 1860 and located in the 2nd arrondisement, was the the last arcade built during the reign of Baron Haussmann. Like all the passages of Paris, it is not only visually interesting, but also historically rich. The first thing you might notice (besides the fact that all the shops are for toys) is that it looks brand spanking new, almost Disneyified. It’s because it was actually destroyed in 1985 in a real estate scheme, and then rebuilt in almost the exact same form using many of the original elements.
Ironically, the original arcade was also made possible through demolition in another real estate scheme to connect to increase pedestrian connectivity with Rue Richelieu, one of the “busiest and elegant streets” at the time. [Marc Vernoll in Le Monde Illustré]. In order to do so, a palace known as the Hà´tel des Princes et de l’Europe, was destroyed. The passage was first named the Passage Mirès, in honor of the bank of Jules Mirès which funded the construction of the arcade. The bank went out of business a month later.
The stained glass dome was constructed in 1930:
The entrance on Rue de Richelieu. In the 1985-1994 reconstruction, the angle of the passage was adjusted to form a right angle.
The arcade was closed again in 1998, but today is full of toy stores.
Passage des Princes
97, Rue de Richelieu