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The Antique Dealers district starts at the north-west corner of the market square (corner of rue Ducis and rue Pourvoirie), and is clustered around the old Hôtel du Bailliage. This elegant building, built in 1724, housed the judicial district court, of which Versailles was the center, with, in its basement, the corresponding prison cells. Whence the name Passage de la Geôle (jail) of the passageway beside it.
This hotel and the picturesque network of courtyards and narrow streets surrounding it are now occupied by many renowned antique shops. Full list
- Opening hours - Most Quartier de la Geôle antique dealers are open on weekends
- The Passage de la Geôle - The delightful square into which you emerge coming from Baillet-reviron street, enlivened by a fountain, was once the site of a wine warehouse supplying the market that lies a little further along. Today it is the heart of the antiques district. This picturesque alleyway takes its name from the former bailiwick prison, which was entered a little more high through the archway on the right and some of whose cells still survive. Scene of the massacre of 12 prisoners in September 1792, it was still used as a gaol until 1844.
- The Hôtel du Bailliage - You come out at top right, by the courtyard of the Hôtel du Bailliage, built in 1724 to replace the 17th-century building. It served as a courthouse and prison. It became a criminal court at the time of the Revolution, but fell into disuse in 1838. Restored in the 1960s, it has since been occupied by antiques shops. In the neighbouring rue Rameau you will discover the beautiful brick façade of Le Cyrano cinema. This building, constructed in 1927 by A. Rimbert, consisted originally of a single 2000-seat auditorium, where audiences were first shown newsreels and silent films, and then treated to recitals played on the booming organs. This was in fact where the Beatles gave their first concert in France on 15 January 1964 before appearing at the Olympia.