Passy (French pronunciation: [pasi] (listen)) is an area of Paris, France, located in the 16th arrondissement, on the Right Bank. It is home to many of the city's wealthiest residents.

Panorama of Paris, View of la Seine and Passy seen from downstream of the Eiffel Tower. In the foreground, the former Champ de Mars train station, followed by the Pont de Passy. Postcard image taken from the second level of the Eiffel Tower
Landmark set between the domains of the Lord of Auteuil and the Lord of Passy in 1731

Passy was a commune on the outskirts of Paris. In 1658, hot springs were discovered around which spa facilities were developed. This attracted Parisian society and English visitors, some of whom made the area, which combined attractive countryside with both modest houses and fine residences, their winter retreat. The population was 2,400 in 1836, 4,545 in 1841, but larger in summer. In 1861 the population was 11,431. Passy's population was 17,594 when it was absorbed into Paris along with several other communities in 1860.[1]

Notable people

Benjamin Franklin in Passy

Passy was the home of Benjamin Franklin during the nine years that he lived in France during the American Revolutionary War, when he represented American interests and sought French support for American independence. For much of this time, he was a lodger in the home of Monsieur de Chaumont.

Franklin established a small printing press in his lodgings to print pamphlets and other material as part of his mandate to maintain French support for the revolution. He called it the Passy Press.[2] Among his printing projects, he produced comics he called Bagatelles[2] and passports. He developed a typeface known as "le Franklin". He also printed a 1782 treatise by Pierre-André Gargaz titled A Project of Universal and Perpetual Peace, which laid out a vision for maintaining a permanent peace in Europe. It proposed a central governing council composed of representatives of all the nations of Europe to arbitrate international disputes.[3]

Albert Gleizes, 1912, Les ponts de Paris (Passy), The Bridges of Paris (Passy), oil on canvas, 60.5 cm × 73.2 cm (23.8 in × 28.8 in), Museum Moderner Kunst (mumok), Vienna. Published in Du "Cubisme", 1912

He also worked on his scientific projects at a laboratory he shared with others, which had been installed by Louis XV in the Château de la Muette.

When Franklin returned to America, the new American Ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson, wrote: "When he left Passy, it seemed as if the village had lost its patriarch."[4] To this day, a street in Passy bears the name Rue Benjamin Franklin.

Artists of Passy

The painting Albert Gleizes painting Les ponts de Paris (Passy), The Bridges of Paris (Passy), housed in the collection of the Museum Moderner Kunst (mumok), Vienna, refers to the spirit of solidarity among the newly formed "Artists of Passy", during a time when factions had begun to develop within Cubism. Les Artistes de Passy consisted of a diverse grouping of avant-garde artistes (painters, sculptors and poets), including several who previously held meetings in 1910 at the rue Visconti studio of Henri Le Fauconnier. Their first diner presided over by neo-symbolist Paul Fort was held at the house of Balzac, rue Raynouard, in the presence of Guillaume Apollinaire, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Marie Laurencin, Henri Le Fauconnier, Fernand Léger, André Mare, Jean Metzinger, Francis Picabia, Henry Valensi, and Jacques Villon.[5] Albert Gleizes chose Passy as the subject of this painting.

Places in Passy

There is now a rue Benjamin Franklin and a square de Yorktown near the Trocadéro.

A lively street in the area is Rue de Passy, which goes from La Muette to the Place de Costa Rica just behind the Trocadéro. It has boutiques and chain stores along its length.

The Cimetière de Passy, located at 2, rue du Commandant Schœlsing, is the burial place for many well-known persons including American silent film star Pearl White, the painters Édouard Manet and Berthe Morisot, and composer Claude Debussy.

Honoré de Balzac lived and wrote in Passy, and his house is now a museum (Maison de Balzac).

The apartment in which Marlon Brando trysts with Maria Schneider in Bernardo Bertolucci's 1972 film Last Tango in Paris was located in Passy.

See also

  • Auteuil-Neuilly-Passy
  • Théodore Année
  • Madame Brillon


  1. Carmona, Michel (2002). Haussmann: His Life and Times, and the Making of Modern Paris. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee. pp. 320–2.
  2. Livingston, Luther (1914). Franklin and His Press at Passy: An Account of the Books, Pamphlets, and Leaflets Printed There, Including the Long Lost 'Bagatelles'. New York: The Grolier Club.
  3. Cohn, Ellen R. (Winter 2010). "The Printer and the 'Peasant': Benjamin Franklin and Pierre-André Gargaz, Two Philosophers in Search of Peace". Early American Studies. 8 (1): 146–172. JSTOR 23546604.
  4. Srodes, James (2011). Franklin: The Essential Founding Father. Regnery History. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  5. Cubisme, 1912", Archives, Grande Encyclopédie Larousse

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