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Exploring the Historic and Cultural Significance of Paris’ Molière Arcade

  Just as the British are obsessed with Shakespeare, the French’s admiration for Molière is also engraved into their DNA. They want to share almost all the glorious moments with Molière: the oldest national theater in France is also known as “Molière”. The most authoritative honor in the theater world is called “Molière’s Night”; the portrait of Molière is printed on both sides of the 500 franc banknote; French is even regarded as “Molière’s language” to some extent …And what is so special about the Molière Arcade in the Marais district of Paris that it is dubbed “Molière”?
  The Molière Arcade is located near the Center Pompidou, with a total length of 46 meters. A simple wrought iron gate and a signboard with yellow letters on a gray background “Passage Molière” build an invisible barrier. Outside the street is a modern city full of traffic, but as long as you stretch your head over, you can hear the classicism period and the nineteenth century. Romantic and gorgeous echoes.
  In 1666, Molière was already honored at this time. The asylum of Louis XIV, the King’s Theater specially allocated by the king, and the successive successes of “Mrs. School”, “Hypocrite” and “Don Juan” aroused his inner enthusiasm. The ugliness of the upper class continuously feeds his desire for creation, and the flying nibs flow out the bantering chapters from the heart, so another satirical comedy-“The Misanthropist” came out, and Molière reached the highest peak of artistic achievement .
  At that time, the Molière Arcade was just an unknown alley. Until 1791, the Molière Theater was established here, and the theater became famous with “The Misanthropist”. Since then, drama, literature, and art have been stationed here, and the alleys are bathed in the glory of Molière.
  In the nineteenth century, Paris was rapidly moving towards modernization, and along with the rise of consumer culture was the arcade—a refined and decent commercial and cultural space that appeared in the form of a street fair. The top of the arcade is inlaid with glass that protects against wind and rain and captures light, creating a warm, bright and pleasant atmosphere. Cafes, barbershops, salons, restaurants, theaters…Under the bright light, the elegant shops are like finely crafted luxury goods. The Molière Arcade was also heavily made up, supporting the Parisian dream of the little bourgeoisie.
  In 1995, the House of Poetry settled in the Molière Theater, and the Arcade was “handed over” to Poetry; in 2017, the Paris City Government launched the renovation project of the Molière Arcade, transforming it into a more modern literary district. Now walking on the Molière Arcade, the glass roof has disappeared, and the shops on both sides have been painted with colorful paint. The colors are rich and bold, adding a touch of modern art.
  In order to preserve the cultural atmosphere of the arcade, the Paris city government also has a strict selection of merchants: EXC bookstore specializing in poetry books, Maison Sapir jewelry store specializing in art and avant-garde jewelry, paper art workshops from Japan… It is worth mentioning the House of Poetry, which has devoted more than 20 years to creating an urban public cultural space. People hold reading sessions, literature symposiums, and concerts here, continuing to stage cultural feasts. Perhaps at a certain moment of being touched, they raised their eyes and looked at Molière in the halo of art.