Tucked just off busy Grand Boulevard nearby other famous arcades in Paris–the Passage Juoffroy and Passage des Panoramas–is the Cité Bergère, an open air passage now home to numerous hotels. Many of these hotels have elaborate ironwork entrances, remnants of a time when this was a very fashionable district.
The L-shaped passage was built privately in 1825 and has two entrances, one on #6 de la rue du Faubourg-Montmartre and one at 23 rue Bergère. In Victor Hugo’s treatise against Louis Napoléon, Napoleon the Little, he recounts the coup d’etat of December 2nd, 1850 which brought the younger Napoléon to power. On this bloody day, much of the action centered near the Grand Boulevard/Saint Denis area. Victims were brought to various places nearby and the crowds followed, particularly to Cité Bergère, where, according to Hugo, they had “become troublesome,” and a big sign was eventually placed at the entrance, “There are no more dead bodies here.”
Composer Frederic Chopin also spent time in Cité Bergère, first in an inn on his initial arrival to Paris (where he stayed for 2 months) and in an apartment at #4, Cité Bergère in 1832 when the area became much more fashionable.