The entrance to this passage on the Boulevard des Italiens side is rather unimpressive, owing to the building’s current architecture and lack of appeal.
However, it is worth going inside because the glass ceiling has also been well maintained and adds to this one-of-a-kind ambiance.
History of Passage Des Princes
Before it was known as the “King’s Passage”, it was simply named the Galerie des Cerfs (Gallery of the Stags). However, King Louis XIV did not like that name and ordered for a change to be made.
Instead of replacing “Galerie des Cerfs” with another name, Gabriel decided to rename the entire arcade after King Louis XIV’s son, who was also his successor and was crowned King of France at age 9. This became known as Passage des Princes.
In 1723, architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel began work on a design for a two-story arcade that would lead from the Palais-Royal to the Louvre. The project began as a private endeavor and was meant for King Louis XIV’s son, who would eventually become King Louis XV upon his father’s death.
Over the next few years, the Passage des Princes was slowly built and it became one of Paris‘ most reliable shopping centers because of the high concentration of luxury shops. But it would not last for long; in 1731, the building project came to an end when King Louis XIV died. When his son became king at age 9, he demanded that another arcade be built between the Palais-Royal and the Pont Royal.
Because Passage des Princes had already been completed by this time and was already becoming famous, King Louis XV ordered that it be named “Passages des Princes” to honor his father’s wishes. When he became an adult, King Louis XVI left the Palais-Royal and moved into a new residence (which would eventually become the Elysee Palace).
When he died in 1793 during the French Revolution, there was a period of time where the Passage de Princes fell into disrepair. However, it eventually started to regain its former charm and by 1831, all of the shops were rebuilt.
Today, the Passage des Princes is home to many small luxury boutiques selling watches, handbags, luggage sets, crystal vases, and chandeliers. There are also several cafés and restaurants where people can dine or grab a drink.
The Passage is a theme park featuring shops that are all run by a big toys corporation, but it’s done well because it adheres to the original plan. There are several distinct sections in the shopping center, including one for dolls and accessories, one for baby toys and plush animals, one for video games, and so on.
Location of Passage Des Princes
Le Passage des Princes is a street in Paris that runs between the Palais Royal and the Louvre. It is a very popular spot for tourists and locals alike, thanks to its prime location and many shops and restaurants.
In Greek mythology, the name of the street is derived from Mars, which was known to the Romans as “Ares”. It is said that when Paris brought Helen back for his father, King Priam of Troy (which would eventually lead to the downfall of Troy at the end of the Trojan War), he passed through this street.