The district has not changed much! The theatres are as many and restaurants rarely out of clients. The Grands boulevards have remained popular, it is pleasant to walk the evening after coming out of the cinema.
The Museum Grevin, known worldwide, will delight young and old alike with its parade of international stars reproduced in wax. The Hotel Chopin's windows overlook the Museum!
Do not miss the Drouot sales house, where the famous auctions take place. Make a small tour in the world of art and collectors: the sixteen exhibition rooms and their daily sales are open between 11am and noon, sixty objects are sold at a time. Imagine animation of the place!
The district is also known today by fans and collectors of coins (Numismatists) where specialty shops gather around La Bourse and rue Vivienne. The Grands Boulevards are also known by the world of Philately, boutiques are located Rue Drouot, a few steps away from Hotel Chopin.
Visit the other passages, as the Passage Verdeau, picturesque passages with arts shops and antique shops, its small Parisian Bistro and restaurant in the German colours. The other side of the boulevard Montmartre, opposite the passage Jouffroy, continue to share a series of covered passages, the Panoramas, the Feydeau Gallery or even the Saint-Marc Gallery... You can from the Grands Boulevards to the Palais-Royal passing from one to another: the passages of Cairo,
Ponceau, that of the Grand Cerf, galleries Vivienne and Colbert. Live the literary atmosphere of these galleries, with their cobblestones and their antique colorful signs.
“I love loitering on the Grands Boulevards.
There is so many things, so many things
So many things to see...
I find my small hotel
My room where the window looks
Onto a corner of heaven
From where I receive a call
All the rumors, all the stories
Of an enchanting world
The Grands Boulevards.”
Maybe Yves Montand talked about Hotel Chopin in his famous song
The Grands Boulevards:
The Grands Boulevards are in place of the old fortifications of the town of Paris. After the victories of Louis XIV in 1660,
Paris no longer needs to be strengthened, the walls were therefore cleared and the ditches filled. The fortified doors are replaced by arches of triumph, as the still existing door Saint Martin.
Built from 1668 to 1705 by architect Pierre Bullet, the western part of the Grands Boulevards is rapidly inhabited by the nobility, who built magnificent hotels in the adjoining districts. The eastern part, which is already popular given its attractions (theaters, dances, acrobats, restaurants...)
The street is paved in 1778 and the gas lighting made its appearance only in 1826. The first horse pulled omnibus, "Madeleine-Bastille", starts to operate January 30th, 1828.
The Parisians make this a place for strolls, whose success persists across the centuries and urban transformations. Bel-Ami de Maupassant already walked on the boulevards. In the 20th century, many cafes and restaurants are replaced by office buildings or corporate headquarters.
Subsequently, the creation of other axes of large capacity as the boulevard Haussmann and its windows stores that attract walkers are well suited to the boulevardier spirit and are now part of the "Grands Boulevards".
Most of the passages were built in the first half of the 19th century to protect a wealthy clientele from the weather and to propose a ensemble of shops. The concept of shopping malls was born! Paris will export its model to other major cities like Milan and the Vittorio Emanuele Passage.
Paris will count up to 150 passages in the 1850s, but the Haussmann work and competition from department stores will lead to the disappearance of most of the passages.
Passage Jouffroy in which the Hotel Chopin is located is one of the 24 that have been saved. This passage dedicated to a wealthy clientele was already heated at the time!