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Architecture

A glazed link between two busy shopping streets, the Passage du Nord is a six-storey building 70m long and 6m wide, covering just over 5,000m². The shopping arcade was designed in typical nineteenth-century eclectic style.
 
On the first floor of the Boulevard Adolphe Max facade are four groups of children, sculpted by Albert Desenfans, holding candleabras topped with lanterns. These sculptures underwent a detailed restoration during the overall restoration of the facade in 2001.
 
The interior of the arcade is graced by the presence of 32 caryatids, sculpted by Joseph Bertheux. They are made up of 4 series of the same 8 designs. Their poses and attributes make allusions to metallurgy, commerce, the navy, astronomy, architecture, sculpture, painting and the decorative arts.
 
In addition to these 32 statues on the interior facades, two more statues of children by Albert Desenfans decorate the sides of the footbridge. One is an allegory of recreation and the other of meditation.
 
At the time it was built, the Passage du Nord did not create much of a stir, given its prestigious neighbours: the House of Cats at 1, Boulevard Adolphe Max, designed by the architect Henri Beyaert and completed in 1874, which won several architectural prizes and is still considered today to be an outstanding example of nineteenth-century architecture, and  the Hotel Metropole.
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