14.3.11

Passage de l'Ancre

Virginia – “Paris Through My Lens” - reminded me about a very specific shop, specializing in repairs and sales of umbrellas. It’s called PEP’s and you can find it in the “Passage d’Ancre”, which probably is the oldest remaining passage in Paris. (On the top photo you can see “Mr. Pep” taking a short break.)

“Ancre” means anchor and the passage obviously got its name from a tavern with an anchor as an emblem. The two modest openings are situated Rue de Turbigo and Rue Saint Martin.
The passage used to be longer, but was cut by the 19th century Haussmannian avenue creations. Previously you could directly reach the “Passage Bourg l’Abbéé” and from there continue to “Passage du Grand Cerf” (see previous post).
“Passage de l’Ancre” was refreshed some ten years ago and has a very nice and colourful atmosphere and, as you can see, quite “green" even in March. It has no roof, few shops, but a number of workshops.
In front of the opening to Rue Saint Martin, you could in the 1640’s find what was the first “taxi station” in Paris. Those days’ carriages, coaches were referred rather to as “fiacres”. A man called Nicolas Sauvage took the initiative to start a cab service and the “home” of his “fiacres” was here. The name “fiacre”- which remained in common use for Paris taxis for long - came from a hotel, called “Hôtel de Saint Fiacre” which you those days could find on the corner of Rue Saint Martin and the “Passage de l’Ancre”. Fiacre was actually an Irish Saint, who this way became the saint of taxi drivers … and of gardeners.

36 comments:

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Merci, Peter and Virginia! I was so close to it in December and even took photos on Rue de Turbigo, but missed this passage! The colors are delightful and I will plan on seeing it in April!

Have a wonderful Paris-week, Peter!

Bises,
Genie

Thérèse said...

C'est vraiment quelque chose que j'aimerai faire si je reste assez longtemps à Paris la prochaine fois. Découvrir les passages méconnus.
Bien joli poste Peter.

Shammickite said...

How colourful and bright, even on a dull day. Thank you for showing me this delightful passage, I'd love to visit personally one day!

Mystica said...

In this age where repairs are not done very much, this was a wonder for me. Here in Asia, everything is repaired over and over again!!! we have a shoe repair man cum umbrella repair man at every street corner but to find an entire street for umbrella repairs - nice!

Owen said...

People actually repair umbrellas ? I thought they just threw them away and got a new one... Perhaps there is hope for the world yet.
:-)

Have a great week Peter, no doubt you are doing all sorts of fascinating things in Paris...

V Rakesh said...

One gets some sense of tranquility while looking at the first picture!

Virginia said...

Merci! now when I return, you can take me right there for photos! A charming passage. No photos inside Pep's? Maybe it's not so charming as the outside?:)
V

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I love the perspective in the first photo. And those colours are pretty too!

rauf said...

i can understand the pressure of being recognised as an author or a serious and the most informative journal like your blog Peter. i thought what else Peter can write about Paris as you have covered every nook and corner of the beautiful city. Now comes the umbrella repair shop. When i visited Bombay a couple of weeks ago i noticed a shop selling only kites. i wondered how a person can make a living selling only kites. i took a picture of the shop.
Here in Chennai it hardly rains but ladies carry umbrellas to protect themselves from harsh sunlight. We have mobile door to door umbrella repairers

Catherine said...

what exquisitely charming corners of Paris you manage to ferret out for us appreciative readers and viewers!! Greetings from Mexico..

Jack said...

I love to see the small passageways, Peter, and this one is wonderful. It seems colorful and green and inviting. Thank you once again for your scholarship.

Studio at the Farm said...

WHAT a gorgeous alleyway! So colorful. I wonder, though, what cab-drivers and gardeners have in common, that they share a patron saint?

Olivier said...

j'aime bien ces petits passages parisiens, on dirait des petits endroits secrets

la fourchette said...

I'll be staying nearby here in June. Your peek into this little gem has piqued my interest for the upcoming trip. One more thing to add to my list of new things to discover about Paris. Thanks!

Cergie said...

Fiacre patron des jardiniers, c'est pourquoi tous les ans l'association des journalistes des jardins et de l'horticulture (AJJH) décerne à un livre le "prix saint Fiacre".

SusuPetal said...

That passage is like from a fairy tail. So beautiful and magical.

Bettina said...

What a great post today.
I have never been to this passage before, but now it's on my (long) list for my next visit.

Synne said...

How quaint and charming! I've got to pay this place a visit next time I'm i town!

Ash said...

Beautiful colourful alley! Gorgeous!

BLOGitse said...

That's my kind of place to visit!
Greetings from rainy Casa!

caterpillar said...

That's a very colorful passage...something that looks straight out of a children's book kinds....very nice

Kate said...

Peter, Thanks for your recent visits to my blog and your encouraging words. These photos of yours in a marvelous passageway lifts one's spirits and gives a hint of what spring might be like here in the frozen tundra...why do we live here!!?? I'm still feeling a bit surly about our missed Mexico vacation but think I'm hiding it quite well!!

Harriet said...

What a colorful and inviting passage! The charms of Paris are never-ending.....

Starman said...

Very interesting about the beginning of taxis.

Simony said...

All those facades would make a beautiful painting!

Thirtytwo degrees said...

This is a fun area in which one can find an open umbrella advertising for repairs. I am shocked to think that umbrellas can be repaired also. But I like yellow for an umbrella, making it look like a bit of sunshine during a rainstorm..very clever!

claude said...

Je me sentirais plus à l'aise dans ce passage que dans une chambre du Ritz. J'adore ce genre d'endroit, c'est plein de charme. J'irais peut être me promener au passage de l'Ancre avec Thérèse.
Les nouvelles de Flo de Sendaï sont bonnes, Ouf !
Mais il va y avoir tant de morts là-bas. C'est un vrai cataclisme. Et le nucélaire qui s'emmêle.

Ruth said...

I agree with what rauf wrote and was thinking the same and actually wrote something like it in my comment response to you at synch. I think you will never run out of these small corners to tell us about, I hope not. Please don't ever stop.

I really enjoy this particular alley, and its history about the taxi stand!

I wonder if you can recognize a PEP'S umbrella when you see one on the street?

hpy said...

J'espère que tu découvriras encore plein de passages comme celui-ci. C'est des endroits qu'on loupe trop facilement quand on ne fait que passer.

Jane said...

Always great to read your posts. Next time I go to Paris I know where to look for inspiration!

Cezar and Léia said...

I love the first picture with colorful houses and lovely vases!
Léia :)

JM said...

What a very cool place I've never heard of! Lovely post, Peter.

ParisBreakfasts said...

Peter's Tours...
Funny, I was just reading that Clusde Marti's tours mentioned Catherine Deneuve has her umbrellas repaired at Peps!
This is definitely the place to hang out.
You are so au courrant

Trotter said...

Now, definitely you're showing me places I don't remember having seen in Paris... ;)

Maya said...

I love that top shot with all the color!

Vagabonde said...

I always learn so much when I read you blog. I did not know why they were called fiacres, but I had seen the name many times.