The 2nd Arrondissement of Paris where money matters

It’s the financial centre of Paris, where you will find the Paris Bourse (the stock exchange), many outstanding galleries and arcades filled with shops selling exquisite products.

The 2nd Arrondissement is the smallest in Paris, and is so compact it is easy to explore on foot.

Located on the right bank of the River Seine, much of the south-eastern corner is closed to traffic.

Apart from the Bourse, another attraction is la Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Richelieu which is the National Library.  The library can trace its origins back to 1368 and is also the repository for all works that are published in France.

Near the Bourse is one of the prettiest churches in Paris, Notre Dame des Victoires, which was built by King Louis XIII and dedicated to his victory over the protestants.  Many people believe that the Blessed Virgin appeared here and, as a result, over 10,000 devotional plaques, silver and gold hearts, as well as military decorations, have been left at the Basilica. The faithful leave these items at the Basilica in thanksgiving for favours received from the Blessed Mother.

Here you will also find the charming Place de Victoires, the main feature of which is a large statue of King Louis XIV seated aboard his steed against a backdrop of 17th century houses.

Once of the world’s most famous theatres, Théâtre national de l’Opéra-Comique, the National Comic Opera Theatre, is situated in Place Boïeldieu.  Many of the world’s best known operas have been performed here since 1898, with Carmen being presented here over 2,500 times.     

As for shopping, the many arcades, or galleries as they are called, got their start in 1786 when the Duke of Orleans discovered that he could make more money by covering his walled gardens and renting the space out as shops.  Today, those galleries are very upmarket, and any purchase could upset your budget.  The best preserved of these is la Galerie Vivienne which has been there since 1823.  There many exclusive shops and restaurants located there, and it even has a hotel as part of its structure, the Hotel Tim.

There four other galleries nearby in the 2nd Arrondissement being The Passage Choiseul, the Passage des Panoramas, the Passages des Princes, and the Passage du Grand-Cerf.

Getting to the 2nd Arrondissement is quite easy; it is served by 5 Metro lines and has ten stations in all.  Although this are of Paris may lack some of the major attractions that are found elsewhere in Paris, it is still worth the visit, if only to experience the great charm of one of the best preserved parts of old Paris.

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