Monday, October 20, 2008

Galerie Vivienne

Bonjour my friends! I was looking through my travel journal today. I do that when I get nostalgic for Europe especially for my beloved Paris. Well, I was looking through my last voyage to Paris and read through an excerpt of mine raving about the Galerie Vivienne. Unfortunately, time only allotted me this passage and no others to see but my what a site to behold! What a lucky girl I am to have seen such splendor.
The Arcades or passageways were devised as a means to get both customers and wares off of dirty streets and bridges and into a cleaner more protected environment. In the first half of the 19th century these covered marketplaces began to spring up everywhere. I believe there may be 30~40 of them still in existence today. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit one of the most celebrated and beautiful ones, the Galerie Vivienne. The opening of large department stores or "Grand Magasins" (I wonder if my faves Printemps & Lafayette are culprits?) saw the decline of these sheltered shopping havens that had begun to fall out of fashion.
Recently, a resurgence in interest has prompted renovations and face~lifts to many of these arcades and fortunately for us we can still wander through these delightful havens and glorious shops.
Photo from

I could spend months in this bookstore! My, this must be what heaven looks like! This is definitely a far cry from my corner bookstore! The treasures I could get my hands on here.

Photo from

How Divine is this staircase? Could you just picture yourself descending these stairs after a day of shopping in this marvelous slice of divinity?

I can distinctly remember the light in here. It was unlike any other light in Paris and made it feel as though we were walking in a different realm altogether. I don't know if it was the glass roof of the passageway or what but the sights & sounds in here were memorable. The shops were fantastic too! A little bit of everything to whet your appetite!

I'm sorry but even in the nicest mall or shopping center near my home, we have nothing to compare to the beauty of this! Oh, if I could only go back! Soon, I hope, soon!
The above photos are from the

Bisou Mon Amis!

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  1. Why can't our shops look this good??
    Ness xx

  2. So, beautiful! I wish Amercian shops looked like that! I have never been to Paris or Europe but seeing these pics makes me want to go shop!

  3. So beautiful and yet so painful to look at! My heart aches for Paris!
    Not sure I can make it until next spring... I am trying to talk my hubby into returning to the land of his childhood.
    Thanks again for another great way to start of Monday morning!!!


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