The panoramas, a little Sunday excursion for the Parisians in the 19th century
Where does this Panoramas passage come from?
Founded in 1800 on the foundations of the old Montmorency-Luxembourg's house, the gallery owns its name from two huge screens (20 metres high), on the boulevard, put up here by the American industrialist Thayer.
People watched here huge panoramic pictures... Une plate-forme surélevée, entourée d'une balustrade, permet d'embrasser les surfaces peintes qui l'entourent. La peinture se déploie sur un mur circulaire et elle a environ 100 mètres de long, "people stood on a platform where they saw paintings. Those ones were displayed on a circular wall, about 100 metres long"...
It was the time of cosmoramas, georamas, diaphanoramas, navaloramas...
But Parisians had enough: in 1831, screens were destroyed but the passage was still popular.
It was the first Parisian street with gas lightning and the first place in Paris where people could buy luxury goods.
An 1828's Paris guide also found un excellent café, d'un excellent marchand de comestible, d'un marchand d'albâtre, de plusieurs lingères, d'un fabricants de joujoux d'enfants, "an excellent café, a fine food shop, an alabaster merchant, several linen maids, some toys makers..."
So, Parisians really loved this new passage. And for a very good reason! At that time, Paris had only filthy passages. Here, we found a glass roof, elegant shops...