The 173-metre-long La Gallerie Vivienne was built in 1823 as a covered passageway connecting two streets: Rue des Petits-Champs and Rue de la Banque. Since its construction the vibrant, richly decorated place lined with shops, cafés and restaurants has attracted many visitors. In 1974 the gallery was also registered as a national monument.
Francois Jean Delannoy conceived the décor in the neoclassical Pompeian style covered with an elegant canopy, with mosaics, paintings and sculptures exalting trade. The restoration work rehabilitated the abundant ornaments around the half-moon windows, and the goddesses and nymphs that adorn the rotunda.
The mosaic floors are signed Giandomenico Facchina and Mazzioli. Their sobriety emphasised by the repetition of simple geometric shapes is reminiscent of the style of the mosaics of the Rue de Rivoli. The 42-metre-long (138 ft) gallery is sheltered by a glazed rotunda with a hemispherical glass dome that allows for air circulation.
Inaugurated in 1826 under the name Marchoux, but soon renamed Vivienne, the gallery took advantage of its unique location. It attracted many visitors with its tailor shops, cobblers, wine shop, restaurant, bookstore, draper, confectioner, print seller, and so on.
Located between the Palais Royal, the stock exchange and the Grands Boulevards, the passage enjoyed considerable success until the end of the Second Empire.There has historically been competition with the nearby Galerie Colbert. Since 1960 the gallery has once again become very active. It features fashion and home furnishings, and haute couture shows are held there. The installation of Jean Paul Gaultier and Yuki Torii shops in 1986 helped with the resurrection of the gallery. It now houses many shops selling ready-to-wear clothing and decorative items.