Passazh Interior, Petersburg 1902

Passazh Interior, Petersburg 1902

he "Passazh" – an example of French nomenclature applied to modern urban spaces – contained not only the Café de Paris, but also the Crédit Lyonnais bank office and, after 1912, the cinema Soleil (Солейл).

The arcade represents, as Walter Bejamin would have it, an ambiguous space as well as a modern space par excellence. It fuses the outer and the inner, taming a city-street under glowing glass planks.

Paris knew the passage as early as the late eighteenth century, whereas Petersburg would belatedly build its first in 1841 (Shchukin Dvor). The Passage on Ital'ianskaia ulitsa, Petersburg’s second, was completed in 1848 and opened on May 9th of that year.

Click here for images of Parisian arcades as well as more thoughts regarding them.

Follow this link to the Russian Modernism website to enter a collaborative pathway about the G.U.M., Moscow's own commercially vibrant "Passage."