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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 43°17′47″N 5°22′12″E / 43.296386°N 5.369954°E / 43.296386; 5.369954

Ville de Marseille
Flag of Marseille
Coat of arms of Marseille
city flag coat of arms

Motto: Actibus immensis urbs fulget Massiliensis.
"By her great deeds, the city of Massilia shines"

Marseille Old Port.jpg
The Old Port of Marseille
Location
Marseille is located in France
Marseille
Time zone CET (GMT +1)
Administration
Country France
Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Department Bouches-du-Rhône (13)
Arrondissement Marseille
Canton chief town of 25 cantons
Subdivisions 16 arrondissements
(in 8 secteurs)
Intercommunality Urban Community of Marseille Provence Métropole
Mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin (UMP)
(since 1995)
Statistics
Land area1 240.62 km2 (92.90 sq mi)
Population2 852,395  (2007 [1])
 - Ranking 3rd agglomeration after Paris and Lyon
 - Density 3,542 /km2 (9,170 /sq mi)
Urban spread
Urban area 90 km2 (35 sq mi) (2006)
 - Population 1,418,481 (2006)
Metro area 2,830.2 km2 (1,092.7 sq mi) (1999)
 - Population 1,604,550 (2007)
Miscellaneous
Postal code 13001-13016
Dialling code 0491 or 0496
Website http://www.marseille.fr/
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Marseille (in English also Marseilles, pronounced /mɑrˈseɪ/; French pronunciation: [maʁsɛj]; locally [mɑχˈsɛjɐ]; in Occitan Marselha or Marsiho, pronounced [maʀˈsejɔ, maʀˈsijɔ]), formerly known as Massalia (from Greek: Μασσαλία), is the oldest city in France, and currently its second most-populous, behind Paris, with 852,395 residents as of 2007.[2] It forms the third-largest metropolitan area, after those of Paris and Lyon, with a population recorded to be 1,516,340 at the 1999 census and estimated to be 1,605,000 in 2007. Located on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille is France's largest commercial port. Marseille is the administrative capital (préfecture de région) of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, as well as the administrative capital (préfecture départementale) of the Bouches-du-Rhône department. Its inhabitants are called Marseillais.

Contents

Geography

View of the "Petit Nice" on the Corniche with Frioul and Château d'If in the background

Marseille is the most populous commune in France after Paris and is the centre of the third largest metropolitan area in France. To the east, starting in the small fishing village of Callelongue on the outskirts of Marseille and stretching as far as Cassis, are the Calanques, a rugged coastal area interspersed with small fjords. Further east still are the Sainte-Baume, a 1,147 m (3,763 ft) mountain ridge rising from a forest of deciduous trees, the town of Toulon and the French Riviera. To the north of Marseille, beyond the low Garlaban and Etoile mountain ranges, is the 1,011 m (3,317 ft) Mont Sainte Victoire. To the west of Marseille is the former artists' colony of l'Estaque; further west are the Côte Bleue, the Gulf of Lion and the Camargue region in the Rhône delta. The airport lies to the north west of the city at Marignane on the Étang de Berre.

Marseille seen from Spot Satellite

The city's main thoroughfare, the wide boulevard called the Canebière, stretches eastward from the Old Port (Vieux Port) to the Réformés quarter. Two large forts flank the entrance to the Old Port - Fort Saint-Nicolas on the south side and Fort Saint-Jean on the north. Further out in the Bay of Marseille is the Frioul archipelago which comprises four islands, one of which, If, is the location of Château d'If, made famous by the Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo. The main commercial centre of the city intersects with the Canebière at rue St Ferréol and the Centre Bourse (the main shopping mall). The centre of Marseille has several pedestrianised zones, most notably rue St Ferréol, Cours Julien near the Music Conservatory, the Cours Honoré-d'Estienne-d'Orves off the Old Port and the area around the Hôtel de Ville. To the south east of central Marseille in the 6th arrondissement are the Prefecture and the monumental fountain of Place Castellane, an important bus and metro interchange. To the south west are the hills of the 7th arrondissement, dominated by the basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde. The railway station - Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles - is north of the Centre Bourse in the 1st arrondissement; it is linked by the Boulevard d'Athènes to the Canebière.

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Climate

Marseille has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, humid winters and hot, dry summers. January and February are the coldest months, averaging temperatures of around 8 to 9 °C (48 °F). July and August are the hottest months. The mean summer temperature is around 23 to 24 °C (75 °F). In July the average maximum temperature is around 30 °C (86 °F).[3] Marseille is known for the Mistral, a harsh cold wind originating in the Rhône valley that occurs mostly in winter and spring. Less frequent is the Sirocco, a hot sand-bearing wind, coming from the Sahara Desert.

Climate data for Marseille
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 10
(50)
11
(52)
14
(57)
17
(63)
21
(70)
25
(77)
30
(86)
28
(82)
25
(77)
20
(68)
14
(57)
11
(52)
18
(64)
Daily mean °C (°F) 6
(43)
7
(45)
10
(50)
12
(54)
16
(61)
21
(70)
25
(77)
23
(73)
20
(68)
15
(59)
10
(50)
7
(45)
15
(59)
Average low °C (°F) 2
(36)
3
(37)
5
(41)
8
(46)
12
(54)
16
(61)
19
(66)
18
(64)
15
(59)
11
(52)
6
(43)
3
(37)
10
(50)
Precipitation mm (inches) 40
(1.57)
40
(1.57)
40
(1.57)
40
(1.57)
40
(1.57)
20
(0.79)
10
(0.39)
20
(0.79)
60
(2.36)
90
(3.54)
70
(2.76)
50
(1.97)
580
(22.83)
Source: Weatherbase[4]

History

Prehistory and classical antiquity

Silver coin enscribed with Μασσ[αλία] from the Hellenistic period of Marseille

Humans have inhabited Marseille and its environs for almost 30,000 years: palaeolithic cave paintings in the underwater Cosquer cave near the calanque of Morgiou date back to between 27,000 and 19,000 BC; and very recent excavations near the railway station have unearthed neolithic brick habitations from around 6,000 BC.[5][6]

Marseille, the oldest city of France, was founded in 600 BC by Greeks from Phocaea (as mentioned by Thucydides Bk1,13) as a trading port under the name Μασσαλία (Massalia; see also List of traditional Greek place names). The precise circumstances and date of founding remain obscure, but nevertheless a legend survives. Protis, while exploring for a new trading outpost or emporion for Phocaea, discovered the Mediterranean cove of the Lacydon, fed by a freshwater stream and protected by two rocky promontories.[7] Protis was invited inland to a banquet held by the chief of the local Ligurian tribe for suitors seeking the hand of his daughter Gyptis in marriage. At the end of the banquet, Gyptis presented the ceremonial cup of wine to Protis, indicating her unequivocal choice. Following their marriage, they moved to the hill just to the north of the Lacydon; and from this settlement grew Massalia.[7]

View from the Vieux-Port towards Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde

Massalia was one of the first Greek ports in Western Europe,[8] growing to a population of over 1000. It was the first settlement given city status in France. Facing an opposing alliance of the Etruscans, Carthage and the Celts, the Greek colony allied itself with the expanding Roman Republic for protection. This protectionist association brought aid in the event of future attacks, and perhaps equally important, it also brought the people of Massalia into the complex Roman market. The city thrived by acting as a link between inland Gaul, hungry for Roman goods and wine (which Massalia was steadily exporting by 500 BC),[9] and Rome's insatiable need for new products and slaves. Under this arrangement the city maintained its independence until the rise of Julius Caesar, when it joined the losing side (Pompey and the optimates) in civil war, and lost its independence in 49 BC.

It was the site of a siege and naval battle, after which the fleet was confiscated by the Roman authorities. During Roman times the city was called Massilia. It was the home port of Pytheas. Most of the archaeological remnants of the original Greek settlement were replaced by later Roman additions.

Marseille adapted well to its new status under Rome. During the Roman era, the city was controlled by a directory of 15 selected "first" among 600 senators. Three of them had the preeminence and the essence of the executive power. The city's laws amongst other things forbade the drinking of wine by women and allowed, by a vote of the senators, assistance to allow a person to commit suicide.

It was during this time that Christianity first appeared in Marseille, as evidenced by catacombs above the harbour and records of Roman martyrs.[10] According to provencal tradition, Mary Magdalen evangelised Marseille with her brother Lazarus. The diocese of Marseille was set up in the first century AD (it became the Archdiocese of Marseille in 1948).

Middle Ages and Renaissance

Marseille in 1575

With the decline of the Roman Empire, the town fell into the hands of the Visigoths. Eventually Frankish kings succeeded in taking the town in the mid sixth century. Emperor Charlemagne and the Carolingian dynasty granted civic power to Marseille, which remained a major French trading port until the medieval period. The city regained much of its wealth and trading power when it was revived in the tenth century by the counts of Provence. In 1262, the city revolted under Bonifaci VI de Castellana and Hugues des Baux, cousin of Barral des Baux, against the rule of the Angevins but was put down by Charles I.[11][12] In 1348, the city suffered terribly from the bubonic plague, which continued to strike intermittently until 1361. As a major port, it is believed Marseille was one of the first places in France to encounter the epidemic, and some 15,000 people died in a city that had a population of 25,000 during its period of economic prosperity in the previous century.[13] The city's fortunes declined still further when it was sacked and pillaged by the Aragonese in 1423.

The 17C Fort Saint-Jean, incorporating the 12C Commandry of the Knights Hospitaller of St John[14] and the 15C tower of René I

Marseille's population and trading status soon recovered and in 1437, the Count of Provence René of Anjou, who succeeded his father Louis II of Anjou as King of Sicily and Duke of Anjou, arrived in Marseille and established it as France's most fortified settlement outside of Paris.[15] He helped raise the status of the town to a city and allowed certain privileges to be granted to it. Marseille was then used by the Duke of Anjou as a strategic maritime base to reconquer his kingdom of Sicily. King René, who wished to equip the entrance of the port with a solid defense, decided to build on the ruins of the old Maubert tower and to establish a series of ramparts guarding the harbour. Jean Pardo, engineer, conceived the plans and Jehan Robert, mason of Tarascon, carried out the work. The construction of the new city defenses took place between 1447 and 1453.[16] Trading in Marseille also flourished as the Guild began to establish a position of power within the merchants of the city. Notably, René also founded the Corporation of Fisherman.

Marseille was united with Provence in 1481 and then incorporated in France the following year, but soon acquired a reputation for rebelling against the central government.[17] Some 30 years after its incorporation, Francis I visited Marseille, drawn by his curiosity to see a rhinoceros that King Manuel I of Portugal was sending to Pope Leo X, but which had been shipwrecked on the Île d'If. As a result of this visit, the fortress of Château d'If was constructed; this did little to prevent Marseille being placed under siege by the army of the Holy Roman Empire a few years later.[16] Marseille became a naval base for the Franco-Ottoman alliance in 1536, as a Franco-Turkish fleet was stationed in the harbour, threatening the Holy Roman Empire and especially Genoa.[18] Towards the end of the sixteenth century Marseille suffered yet another outbreak of the plague; the hospital of the Hôtel-Dieu was founded soon afterwards. A century later more troubles were in store: King Louis XIV himself had to descend upon Marseille, at the head of his army, in order to quash a local uprising against the governor.[19] As a consequence, the two forts of Saint-Jean and Saint-Nicholas were erected above the harbour and a large fleet and arsenal were established in the harbour itself.

18th and 19th centuries

Over the course of the eighteenth century, the port's defences were improved and Marseille became more important as France's leading military port in the Mediterranean. In 1720, the last Great Plague of Marseille, a form of the Black Death, killed 100,000 people in the city and the surrounding provinces.[20] Jean-Baptiste Grosson, royal notary, wrote from 1770 to 1791 the historical Almanac of Marseille, published as Recueil des antiquités et des monuments marseillais qui peuvent intéresser l’histoire et les arts, ("Collection of antiquities and Marseille monuments which can interest history and the arts"), which for a long time was the primary resource on the history of the monuments of the city.

The local population enthusiastically embraced the French Revolution and sent 500 volunteers to Paris in 1792 to defend the revolutionary government; their rallying call to revolution, sung on their march from Marseille to Paris, became known as La Marseillaise, now the national anthem of France.

During the nineteenth century the city was the site of industrial innovations and a growth in manufacturing. The rise of the French Empire and the conquests of France from 1830 onward (notably Algeria) stimulated the maritime trade and raised the prosperity of the city. Maritime opportunities also increased with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.[21] This period in Marseille's history is reflected in many of its monuments, such as the Napoleonic obelisk at Mazargues and the royal triumphal arch on the Place Jules Guesde.

20th century

The Place du Général de Gaulle in Marseille

During the first half of the twentieth century, Marseille celebrated its 'port of the empire' status through the colonial exhibitions of 1906 and 1922; the monumental staircase of the railway station, glorifying French colonial conquests, dates from then. In 1934 Alexander I of Yugoslavia arrived at the port to meet with the French foreign minister Louis Barthou. He was assassinated there by Vlada Georgieff.

During the Second World War, Marseille was bombed by the German and the Italian forces in 1940. The city was occupied by Germans from November 1942 to August 1944. The Old Port was bombed in 1944 by the Allies to prepare for liberation of France. After the war much of the city was rebuilt during the 1950s. The governments of East Germany, West Germany and Italy paid massive reparations, plus compound interest, to compensate civilians killed, injured or left homeless or destitute as a result of the war.

From the 1950s onward, the city served as an entrance port for over a million immigrants to France. In 1962 there was a large influx from the newly independent Algeria, including around 150,000 returned Algerian settlers (pieds-noirs).[22] Many immigrants have stayed and given the city a French-African quarter with a large market.

After the oil crisis of 1973 and an economic downturn, Marseille saw an increase in crime and higher levels of poverty.[citation needed] The city has worked to combat these problems, and through plans from the AT in Paris and funds from the European Union, the city has developed a modern and advanced economy based on high technology manufacturing, oil refining and service sector employment.

Economy

The Port of Marseille seen from L'Estaque

Historically, the economy of Marseille was dominated by its role as a port of the French Empire, linking the North African colonies of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia with Metropolitan France. The Old Port was replaced as the main port for trade by the Port de la Joliette during the Second Empire and now contains restaurants, offices, bars and hotels and functions mostly as a private marina. The majority of the port and docks, which experienced decline in the 1970s after the oil crisis, have been recently redeveloped with funds from the European Union.[citation needed] Fishing, however, remains important in Marseille and the food economy of Marseille is still dominated by the local catch, and a daily fish market is still held on the Quai des Belges of the Old Port.

Today, the economy of Marseille is dominated by the New Port, which lies north of the Old Port, a commercial container port and a transport port for the Mediterranean sea. 100 million tons of freight pass annually through the port, 60% of which is petroleum, making it number one in France and the Mediterranean and number three in Europe. However, its recent growth in container traffic is being stifled by the constant strikes and social upheaval.[23] Petroleum refining and shipbuilding are the principal industries, but chemicals, soap, glass, sugar, building materials, plastics, textiles, olive oil, and processed foods are also important products.[citation needed] Marseille is connected with the Rhône via a canal and thus has access to the extensive waterway network of France. Petroleum is shipped northward to the Paris basin by pipeline. The city also serves as France's leading centre of oil refinement.

Marseille is a major French centre for trade and industry,with excellent transportation infrastructure (roads, sea port and airport). Marseille Provence Airport, is the fourth largest in France. It is the main arrival base for millions of tourists each year and serves a growing business community. All three universities of Aix-Marseille - the University of Provence, the University of the Mediterranean and Paul Cézanne University - are represented to varying degrees in both Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, forming France's second largest research centre with 3,000 research scientists.[citation needed]

The Marseille region is home to thousands of companies, 90% of which are small businesses.[24] Among the most famous ones are CMA CGM, container-shipping giant; Compagnie maritime d'expertises (Comex), world leader in sub-sea engineering and hydraulic systems; Eurocopter Group, an EADS company; Azur Promotel, an active real estate development company; La Provence, the local daily newspaper; L'Olympique de Marseille, the famous football club; RTM, Marseille's public transport company; and Société Nationale Maritime Corse Méditerranée (SNCM), a major operator in passenger, vehicle and freight transportation in the Western Mediterranean.

In recent years, the city has also experienced a large growth in service sector employment and a switch from light manufacturing to a cultural, high-tech economy.[citation needed] Marseille acts as a regional nexus for entertainment in the south of France and has a high concentration of museums, cinemas, theaters, clubs, bars, restaurants, fashion shops, hotels, and art galleries, all geared towards a tourist economy.

In May 2005, the French financial magazine L'Expansion named Marseille the most dynamic of France's large cities, citing figures showing that 7,200 companies had been created in the city since 2000.[25]

Employment

Unemployment in the economy fell from 20% in 1995 to 14% in 2004.[26] However Marseille unemployment rate remains higher than the national average. In some parts of Marseille, youth unemployment is reported to be as high as 40%.[27]

Administration

Marseille is divided into 16 municipal arrondissements, which are themselves informally divided into quartiers (111 in total). The arrondissements are regrouped in pairs, into 8 secteurs, each with a mayor and council (like the arrondissements in Paris and Lyon).[28]

Municipal elections are held every six years and are carried out by secteur. There are 303 councillors in total, two thirds sitting in the secteur councils and one third in the city council.

The sectors and arrondissements of Marseille

From 1950 to the mid 1990s, Marseille was a socialist and communist stronghold. The socialist Gaston Defferre was consecutively re-elected six times as Mayor of Marseille from 1953 until his death in 1986. He was succeeded by Robert Vigouroux of the RDSE. Jean-Claude Gaudin of the right-wing UMP was elected mayor in 1995. Gaudin won re-election in 2001 and 2008.

In recent years, the Communist Party has lost most of its strength in the northern boroughs of the city, whereas the far-right National Front has received significant support.

At the last municipal election in 2008, Marseille was divided between the northern boroughs dominated by the left and the more affluent southern Marseille, dominated by the right, with the centre and eastern parts of the city as battlegrounds, allowing for a narrow re-election of the UMP administration.

The cantons of Marseille :

Marseille is also divided in 25 cantons, each of them returning a member of the General Council of the Bouches-du-Rhône département.

Demographics

Marseille Population[29]
250 BC 1801 1851 1881 1911 1931 1946 1954 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2007
50,000 111,100 195,350 360,100 550,619 606,000 636,300 661,407 778,071 889,029 908,600 874,436 800,550 798,430 839,043 852,395

Immigration

The 7th arrondissement of Marseille

Because of its pre-eminence as a Mediterranean port, Marseille has always been one of the main gateways into France. This has attracted many immigrants and made Marseille a cosmopolitan melting pot. By the end of the eighteenth century about half the population originated from elsewhere.[30][31]

Economic conditions and political unrest in Europe and the rest of the world brought several other waves of immigrants during the twentieth century: Greeks and Italians started arriving at the end of the nineteenth century and in the first half of the 20th century, up to 40% of the city's population was of Italian origin;[32] Russians in 1917; Armenians in 1915 and 1923; Spanish after 1936; North Africans (both Berber and Arab) in the inter-war period; Sub-saharan Africans after 1945; the pieds-noirs from the former French Algeria in 1962; and then from Comoros. In 2006, it was reported that 70,000 city residents were considered to be of Maghrebian origin, mostly from Algeria. The second largest group in Marseille in terms of single nationalities were from the Comoros, amounting to some 45,000 people.[32]

Currently, over one third of the population of Marseille can trace their roots back to Italy.[33] Marseille also has the largest Corsican and second-largest Armenian populations of France. Other significant communities include North Africans, Turks, Comorians, Chinese, and Vietnamese.[34]

The main religions practised in Marseille are Catholicism (600,000), Islam (between 150,000 and 200,000), Armenian Apostolic Church (80,000), Judaism (80,000, making Marseille the third largest urban Jewish community in Europe), Protestantism (20,000), Eastern Orthodoxy (10,000) and Buddhism (3,000).[35]

Culture

Paul Cézanne: The bay of Marseille from l'Estaque

Marseille has been designated as European Capital of Culture in 2013.

Marseille is a city that is proud of its differences from the rest of France. Today it is a regional centre for culture and entertainment with an important opera house, historical and maritime museums, five art galleries and numerous cinemas, clubs, bars and restaurants.

Marseille has a large number of theatres, including la Criée, le Gymnase and the Théâtre Toursky. There is also an extensive arts centre in La Friche, a former match factory behind the St-Charles station. The Alcazar, until the 1960s a well known music-hall and variety theatre, has recently been completely remodelled behind its original facade and now houses the central municipal library.

Marseille has also been important in literature and the arts. It has been the birth place and home of many French writers and poets, including Victor Gélu, Valère Bernard, Pierre Bertas, Edmond Rostand and André Roussin. The small port of l'Estaque on the far end of the Bay of Marseille became a favourite haunt for artists, including Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne (who frequently visited from his home in Aix), Georges Braque and Raoul Dufy.

The most commonly used tarot deck comes from Marseille; it is called the Tarot de Marseille, and was used to play the local variant of tarocchi before it became used in cartomancy. Another local tradition is the making of santons, small hand-crafted figurines for the traditional Provençal Christmas creche. Since 1803, starting on the last Sunday of November, there has been a Santon Fair in Marseille; it is currently held in the Cours d'Estienne d'Orves, a large square off the Vieux-Port.

Opera

Marseille's main cultural attraction was, since its creation at the end of the 18th century and until the late 1970s, the Opéra. Located near the Old Port and the Canebière, at the very heart of the city, its architectural style was comparable to the classical trend found in other opera houses built at the same time in Lyon and Bordeaux. In 1919, a fire almost completely destroyed the house, leaving only the stone colonnade and peristyle from the original facade.[36][37] The classical facade was restored and the opera house reconstructed in a predominantly Art Deco style, as the result of a major competition. Currently the Opéra de Marseille stages 6 or 7 operas each year.

Since 1972 the Ballet national de Marseille has performed at the opera house; its director from its foundation to 1998 was Roland Petit.

Hip hop music

Marseille is also well known in France for its hip hop music. Bands like IAM originated from Marseille and initiated the rap music phenomena in France. Other known groups include Fonky Family, 3ème Oeil, and Psy4 de la rime.

Gastronomy

Fish soup with rouille

Films set in Marseille

Marseille has been the setting for many films, produced mostly in France or Hollywood.

Marseille in television

The popular French television series Plus belle la vie is set in an imaginary quartier, Le Mistral, of Marseille. It is filmed in the Belle de Mai quartier of Marseille.

Star Trek: Voyager mentions Marseille in several episodes. It is said to be a favourite city of Lt. Tom Paris who was "spending his time, drinking and playing pool in Sandrine's, a (fictional) waterfront bar."

Main sights

Central Marseille

Marseille is listed as a major centre of art and history. The city has many museums and galleries and there are many ancient buildings and churches of historical interest. Most of the attractions of Marseille (including shopping areas) are located in the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th arrondissements.

These include:[43][44]

  • The Old Port or Vieux-Port, the main harbour and marina of the city. It is guarded by two massive forts (Fort St Nicolas and Fort Saint Jean) and is one of the main places to eat in the city. Dozens of cafés line the waterfront. The Quai des Belges at the end of the harbour is the site of the daily fish market. Much of the northern quayside area was rebuilt by the architect Fernand Pouillon after its destruction by the Nazis in 1943.
  • The Phare de Sainte Marie, a lighthouse on the inlet to the Old Port.
  • La Vieille Charité in the Panier, an architecturally significant building designed by the Puget brothers. The central baroque chapel is situated in a courtyard lined with arcaded galleries. Originally built as an alms house, it is now home to an archeological museum and a gallery of African and Asian art, as well as bookshops and a café.
  • The Centre Bourse and the adjacent rue St Ferreol district (including rue du Rome and rue Paradis), the main shopping area in central Marseille.
  • The Musée d'Histoire, the Marseille historical museum, located in the Centre Bourse. It contains records of the Greek and Roman history of Marseille as well as the best preserved hull of a 6th century boat in the world. Ancient remains from the Hellenic port are displayed in the adjacent archeological gardens, the Jardin des Vestiges.
  • The Palais de la Bourse, a 19th century building housing the chamber of commerce, the first such institution in France. It also contains a small museum, charting the maritime and commercial history of Marseille, as well as a separate collection of models of ships.
  • The Musée de la Mode, a museum of modern fashion which displays over 2000 designs from the last 30 years.
  • The Musée Cantini, a museum of modern art near the Palais de Justice. It houses artworks associated with Marseille as well as several works by Picasso.
  • The Pierre Puget park.
  • The Hôtel-Dieu, a former hospital in the Panier, currently being transformed into an InterContinental hotel.
  • The Abbey of Saint-Victor, one of the oldest places of Christian worship in Europe. Its early fifth century crypt and catacombs occupy the site of a Hellenic burial ground, later used for Christian martyrs and venerated ever since. Continuing a medieval tradition,[45] every year at Candlemas a Black Madonna from the crypt is carried in procession along rue Sainte for a blessing from the archbishop, followed by a mass and the distribution of "navettes" and green votive candles.
  • The Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), a baroque building from the seventeenth century.
  • The Musée du Vieux Marseille, housed in the 16th century Maison Diamantée, describing everyday life in Marseille from the eighteenth century onwards.
  • The Cathedral of Sainte-Marie-Majeure or La Major, founded in the fourth century, enlarged in the eleventh century and completely rebuilt in the second half of the 19th century by the architects Léon Vaudoyer and Henri-Jacques Espérandieu. The present day cathedral is a gigantic edifice in Romano-Byzantine style. A romanesque transept, choir and altar survive from the older medieval cathedral, spared from complete destruction only as a result of public protests at the time.
  • The 12th century parish church of Saint-Laurent and adjoining 17th century chapel of Sainte-Catherine, on the quayside near the Cathedral, recently reopened after restoration.[46]

Outside of central Marseille

The Calanque of Sugiton in the 9th arrondissement of Marseille
  • The nineteenth century Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, built by the architect Esperandieu, is an enormous Romano-Byzantine basilica in the hills to the south of the Old Port. The terrace offers spectacular panoramic views of Marseille and its surroundings.
  • The Stade Vélodrome, the home stadium of the city's main football team, Olympique de Marseille.
  • The Gare Saint-Charles, the main railway station. Below it is the royal Porte d'Aix (1784–1837), a giant triumphal arch, at the crossroads to Aix.
  • The Unité d'Habitation, an influential experimental building designed by the Swiss architect Le Corbusier in the late forties
  • The Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Natural History Museum are housed in the two wings of the nineteenth century Palais Longchamp, also designed by Esperandieu, located in the Parc Longchamp. Built on a grand scale, this italianate colonnaded building rises up behind a vast monumental fountain with cascading waterfalls. The jeux d'eau marks and masks the entry point of the Canal de Provence into Marseille.
  • The Grobet-Labadié museum, opposite to the Palais Longchamp, houses an exceptional collection of European objets d'art and old musical instruments.
  • The Parc Borély, a park off the Bay of Marseille with the Jardin botanique E.M. Heckel, a botanical garden.
  • The Musée de Faience, a ceramics museum in the Chateau Pastré near the parc Borely.
  • The parc Chanot, an exhibition centre.
  • The Pharo Gardens, a park with views of the Mediterranean and the Old Port.
  • The Corniche, a picturesque waterfront road between the Old Port and the Bay of Marseille.
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, devoted to American and European art from the 1960s to the present day.
  • The beaches at the Prado, Pointe Rouge, les Goudes, Callelongue, and le Prophète.
  • The Musée du Terroir Marseillais in Chateau-Gombert, devoted to provencal crafts and traditions.
  • The callanques and Marseilleveyre, a wild mountainous coastal area of outstanding natural beauty, accessible from Callelongue, Luminy, Sormiou, Morgiou and Cassis.
  • The islands of the Frioul archipelago in the Bay of Marseille, accessible by ferry from the Old Port. The prison of Château d'If was the setting for The Count of Monte Cristo, the novel by Alexandre Dumas. The neighbouring islands of Ratonneau and Pomègues are joined by a man-made breakwater. The site of a former garrison and quarantine hospital, these islands are also of interest for their marine wildlife.

Education

Euromed in Luminy, near the Calanques of Sugiton and Morgiou

A number of the faculties of the three universities that comprise Aix-Marseille University are located in Marseille:

In addition Marseille has two grandes écoles:

Transport

Motorways around Marseille

The city is served by an international airport, Marseille Provence Airport, located in Marignane. The airport has two terminals. Terminal one, the main terminal of the airport contains halls 1,2,3 and 4 and serves as a base for French and international arrivals and departures. The newer terminal, referred to as MP2, is used for low-cost flights arriving and departing from Europe and North Africa. A shuttle coach system operates between the airport and the railway station, Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles.

An extensive network of motorways connects Marseille to the north and west (A7), Aix-en-Provence in the north (A51), Toulon (A50) and the French Riviera (A8) to the east.

Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles is Marseille's main railway station. It operates direct regional services to Aix-en-Provence, Briancon, Toulon, Avignon, Nice, Montpellier, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, etc. Gare Saint-Charles is also one of the main terminal stations for the TGV in the south of France making Marseille reachable in three hours from Paris (a distance of over 750 km) and just over one and a half hours from Lyon. There are also direct TGV lines to Lille, Brussels, Nantes, Genève and Strasbourg.

The new tramway
Metro and tramway network

There is a long distance bus station, still under construction, adjacent to Gare Saint-Charles with destinations mostly to other Bouches-du-Rhône towns. Temporarily buses to Aix-en-Provence depart from the nearby Porte d'Aix. Other buses to Cassis, La Ciotat and Aubagne depart from Place Castellane.

Marseille has a large ferry terminal, the Gare Maritime, with services to Corsica, Sardinia, Algeria and Tunisia. A free ferry service on a quite different scale operates between the two opposite quays of the Old Port.

Marseille itself is connected by the Marseille Métro train system operated by the Régie des transports de Marseille (RTM). It consists of two lines: Line 1 (blue) between Castellane and La Rose opened in 1977 and Line 2 (red) between Sainte-Marguerite-Dromel and Bougainville opened between 1984 and 1987. An extension of the Line 1 from Castellane to La Timone was completed in 1992. The Métro system operates on a turnstile system, with tickets purchased at the nearby adjacent automated booths. Both lines of the Métro intersect at Gare Saint-Charles and Castellane.

An extensive bus network serves the city and suburbs of Marseille. The first phase of a new tramway,[47] going eastwards from the port towards St Barnabé, was opened in July 2007.

As in many other French cities, a short-term bicycle hire scheme nicknamed "Le vélo", free for trips of less than half an hour, has recently been put in place by the city council.[48]

Sport

The Velodrome Stadium

The city boasts a wide variety of sports facilities and teams. The most popular team is the city's football club, Olympique de Marseille, which was the UEFA Champions League winner in 1993 and finalist of the UEFA Cup in 1999 and 2004. The club had a history of success under then-owner Bernard Tapie. The club's home, the Stade Vélodrome, which can sit 60,000 people,also functions for other local sports, as well as the national rugby team. Stade Velodrome hosted a number of games during the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The local rugby team is Marseille Vitrolles Rugby.

Sailing is a major sport in Marseille. The winds can blow from different directions and allow interesting regattas in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Most of the time it can be windy while the sea remains smooth enough to allow sailing. It was considered as a possible site for 2007 Americas Cup.[49] Marseille is also a place for other water sports such as windsurfing and powerboating. Marseille has three golf courses. The city has dozens of gyms and several public swimming pools. Running is also popular in many of Marseille's parks such as Le Pharo and Le Jardin Pierre Puget. An annual footrace is held between the city and neighbouring Cassis: the Marseille-Cassis Classique Internationale.

Births and deaths in Marseille

Honoré Daumier:Sunday at the Museum

Marseille was the birthplace of:

The following personalities died in Marseille:

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Marseille is currently officially twinned with thirteen cities:[53]

Partner cities

In addition Marseille has signed various types of formal agreements of cooperation with 31 cities all over the world:[55]

Gallery

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Duchêne, Roger; Contrucci, Jean (2004), Marseille, 2600 ans d'histoire, Editions Fayard, ISBN 2-213-60197-6 
  • Liauzu, Claude (1996), Histoire des migrations en Méditerranée occidentale, Editions Complexe, ISBN 2870276087 
  • Savitch, H.V.; Kantor, Paul (2002), Cities in the International Market Place: The Political Economy of Urban Development in North America and Western Europe, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0691091595 
  • Peraldi, Michel; Samson, Michel (2006), Gouverner Marseille : Enquête sur les mondes politiques marseillais, Editions La Découverte, ISBN 2707149640 
  • Busquet, Raoul (1954), Histoire de la Provence des origines à la révolution française, Éditions Jeanne Lafitte, ISBN 2-86276-319-5 
  • Attard-Marainchi, Marie-Françoise; Échinard, Pierre; Jordi, Jean-Jacques; Lopez, Renée; Sayad, Abdelmalek; Témime, Émile (2007), Migrance – histoires des migrations à Marseille, Éditions Jeanne Laffitte, ISBN 978-2-86-276-450-4 , single book comprising 4 separate volumes: La préhistoire de la migration (1482-1830); L'expansion marseillaise et «l'invasion italienne» (1830–1918); Le cosomopolitisme de l'entre-deux-guerres (1919–1945); Le choc de la décolonisation (1945–1990).

Notes

  1. ^ "Population légale pour 2007". Insee.fr. http://www.insee.fr/fr/ppp/bases-de-donnees/recensement/populations-legales/commune.asp?depcom=13055. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  2. ^ "Marseille - The oldest city in France". Eurotomic.com. http://eurotomic.com/france/marseille-the-oldest-city-in-france.php. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  3. ^ GISS average monthly temperatures 1971 - 2000, Goddard Institute of Space Studies, Boulder, USA
  4. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Marseille". http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weatherall.php3?s=5670&refer=&units=metric. 
  5. ^ J. Buisson-Catil, I. Sénépart, Marseille avant Marseille. La fréquentation préhistorique du site. Archéologia, no. 435, July-August 2006, pages 28-31
  6. ^ Official press release of INRAP (institut national de recherches archéologiques preventives).
  7. ^ a b Marius Dubois, Paul Gaffarel et J.-B. Samat, Histoire de Marseille , Librairie P. Ruat, Marseille, 1913.
  8. ^ Duchêne & Contrucci (2004).
  9. ^ Hugh Johnson, Vintage: The Story of Wine pg 40. Simon and Schuster 1989
  10. ^ The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. The martyrdom of St. Victor took place under the Roman emperor Maximian.
  11. ^ Abulafia, David (1999), The New Cambridge Medieval History, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 052136289X 
  12. ^ Runciman, Steven (1992), The Sicilian Vespers: A History of the Mediterranean World in the Later Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press, pp. 75–76, ISBN 0521437741 
  13. ^ Duchêne and Contrucci (2004), page 182.
  14. ^ Duchene & Contrucci (2004), pages 160-161, 174. This commandry was a monastery belonging to the military religious order of the crusading Knights Hospitaller. Following Richard the Lionheart's visit in 1190 with the Anglo-Norman fleet during the third crusade, Marseille became a regular port of call for crusaders.
  15. ^ Busquet, Raoul; Laffont, Robert (1998), Histoire de Marseille, Jeanne Laffitte, ISBN 2221087348  (in French)
  16. ^ a b Duchêne, Roger; Contrucci, Jean (2004), Marseille, 2600 ans d'histoire, Fayard, ISBN 2-213-60197-6 
  17. ^ Duchêne, Roger; Contrucci, Jean (2004), Marseille, 2600 ans d'histoire, Fayard, ISBN 2-213-60197-6  Chronology, page 182, and Part III, Chapters 25-36.
  18. ^ ''The Cambridge modern history'' Sir Adolphus William Ward p.72. Books.google.com. http://books.google.com/books?id=yKo8AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA72. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  19. ^ Duchêne, Roger; Contrucci, Jean (1998), Marseille, 2600 ans d'histoire, Fayard, ISBN 2213601976  (in French)
  20. ^ Roger Duchêne and Jean Contrucci (2004), Chapter 24, La peste, pages 360-378.
  21. ^ The Jewish Community of Marseille, France
  22. ^ Damian Moore. "UNESCO-MOST Programme". UNESCO. http://www.unesco.org/most/p97mars.doc. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  23. ^ Cours de comptes: Les ports de la Manche et de la Mer du Nord
  24. ^ "Official website of Marseille Metropole Provence". Marseille-provence.com. http://www.marseille-provence.com/. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  25. ^ L'Expansion: Les Villes qui font bouger la France (in French)
  26. ^ "Interview". Polytechnique.fr. http://www.polytechnique.fr/eleves/binets/xpassion/article.php?id=28. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  27. ^ Marseille - Rap - Music - New York Times
  28. ^ Administration and composition of arrondissements (in French)
  29. ^ le Splaf and Insee
  30. ^ Liauzu 1996
  31. ^ Duchene & Contrucci 2004
  32. ^ a b "Local0631EN:Quality0667EN" (PDF). http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/pubdocs/2006/31/en/1/ef0631en.pdf. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  33. ^ Citoyenneté et intégration : Marseille, modèle d’intégration ?, report by Patrick Parodi, Académie d'Aix-Marseille.
  34. ^ "Diverse Marseille Spared in French Riots". Npr.org. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5044219. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  35. ^ "Marseille Espérance. Tous différents, tous Marseillais". Diplomatie.gouv.fr. http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/article-imprim.php3?id_article=39997. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  36. ^ "Opera in Genoa, Nice, Marseille, Montpellier, Barcelona". Capsuropera.com. http://www.capsuropera.com/seasonschedules.php. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  37. ^ "Schmap Marseille Sights & Attractions - 6th arrond". Schmap.com. http://www.schmap.com/marseille/sights_6tharrond/. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  38. ^ David, Elizabeth (1999), French Provincial Cooking, Penguin Classics, ISBN 0141181532 
  39. ^ David, Elizabeth (1999), French Provincial Cooking, Penguin Classics, ISBN 0141181532 
  40. ^ Wright, Clifford (2002), Real Stew, Harvard Common Press, ISBN 1558321993 
  41. ^ Le Four des Navettes, manufacturers of navettes since 1781.
  42. ^ Olney, Richard (2002), Lulu's Provençal Table, Ten Speed Press, ISBN 1580084001 
  43. ^ Cannon, Gwen (2006), Provence, Michelin Travel Publications, ISBN 206711929X 
  44. ^ Official website of the City of Marseille
  45. ^ Candelmas at St Victor, Marseille Tourist Office
  46. ^ St Laurent and St Catherine
  47. ^ "Official website of the Marseille tramway". Le-tram.fr. http://www.le-tram.fr/. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  48. ^ "Website for Le vélo" (in (French)). Levelo-mpm.fr. http://www.levelo-mpm.fr/. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  49. ^ "Sailing to Success | Newsweek.com". Newsweek.com. 2006-07-03. http://www.newsweek.com/id/46140. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  50. ^ "Scotto Opérettes Marseillaises Accord 4762107; Classical CD Reviews - November 2006 MusicWeb-International". Musicweb-international.com. http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Nov06/Scotto_operettas_4762107.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  51. ^ Jessula, Georges (2003), "Darius Milhaud, Compositeur de Musique", Revue Juive: 140–144, http://www.cairn.info/article.php?ID_REVUE=AJ&ID_NUMPUBLIE=AJ_361&ID_ARTICLE=AJ_361_0140#  Since their marriage in 1892, Milhaud's parents lived in the Bras d'Or in Aix-en-Provence, where their son grew up; however he was delivered at the home of his maternal grandparents in Marseille.
  52. ^ Milhaud, Darius (1998), Ma Vie heureuse, Zurfluh, ISBN 2-87750-083-7 
  53. ^ "Marseille Official website - Twin Cities". Flag of France.svg (in French) © 2008 Ville de Marseille. http://www.marseille.fr/vdm/cms/accueil/mairie/international/pid/185. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  54. ^ "Yerevan Municipality - Sister Cities". © 2005-2009 www.yerevan.am. http://yerevan.am/main.php?lang=3&page_id=194. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  55. ^ Agreements of cooperation (in French)
  56. ^ "Gdańsk Official Website: 'Miasta partnerskie'" (in Polish & English). © 2009 Urząd Miejski w Gdańsku. http://www.gdansk.pl/samorzad,62,733.html. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  57. ^ Embassy of France and Russia - sister cities
  58. ^ "Twinning Cities: International Relations" (PDF). Municipality of Tirana. www.tirana.gov.al. http://www.tirana.gov.al/common/images/International%20Relations.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Marseille (Latin: Massilia) [1] is the second most populated city of France, (and second urban area), the biggest mediterranean port and the economic center of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.

Marseille old harbour, by Albert Lee
Marseille old harbour, by Albert Lee

Understand

Marseille has a complicated history. Founded by the Phoceans (from the greek city of Phocea) in 600 B.C., it is one of the oldest cities in Europe. The town is a far cry from the Cézanne paintings and Provençal clichés of sleepy villages, "pétanque" players and Marcel Pagnol novels. With around one million inhabitants, Marseille is the second largest city in France in terms of population and the largest in terms of area. Its population is a real melting pot of different cultures. A famous joke (but french comedians Les Inconnus) states that Marseille is the first Arabic city in the Paris-Dakar race, because it has a very large population of North African immigrants. It is also said that there are more Comorian people in Marseille than in Comoros! Indeed, the people of Marseille have varying ethnic backgrounds, with a lot of Italians and Spanish having immigrated to the area after the second world war.

Marseille is perhaps not the kind of city you will fall in love with your first day there. It is not Paris; there are few obvious "things to do" along the lines of the Louvre museum or the Champs-Elysees. However, for people not afraid to discover a real place with real people, Marseille is the place. From colourful markets (like Noailles market) that will make you feel like you are in Africa, to the Calanques (a natural area of big cliffs falling into the sea - Calanque means fjord), from the Panier area (the oldest place of the town and historically the place where newcomers installed) to the Vieux-Port (old harbor) and the Corniche (a road along the sea) Marseille has definitely a lot to offer.

Forget the Canebière, forget the "savon de Marseille" (Marseille soap), forget the clichés, and just have a ride from l'Estaque to Les Goudes. You will not forget it.

Get in

By plane

Marseilles-Provence International Airport [2] (IATA: MRS) is located about thirty kilometers from Marseilles. Buses, taxis and now train connect in less than 30 minutes. (Shuttles every European cities in Marseilles has made more places available from Marseille. [3]

By train

The main train station is Marseille St. Charles. It is well-linked to the rest of the city, as the two subway lines and many buses stop there. It is a short walk away from the Canebière and the Old Port. Beware that the station is located on a small hill : if you decide to go the station by foot, you will have to climb a series of steps that could prove very unappealing, especially if you carry heavy pieces of luggage.

Marseille has TGV lines to Paris (3 hours) and Lyon (1 hour 45), Nice (2 hours) and to Brussels (5 hours).

From Barcelona, there is a connection to Cerbère, from which there are regular trains to Marseille; also a night train.

By bus

Eurolines [4] has many connections all over Europe. From Marseille there are at least direct connections to Barcelona, Prague and Tangier. The bus station is next to the main train station, the St. Charles Station at Rue Honnorat. You get access through Platform N in the train station. There is also a temporary office at Platform N.

There is also an Eurolines office on the 3 Allée Léon Gambetta; If you walk down the big stairs on the southside of the station, follow the road until you come to a squarelike intersection. The office is on your right hand.

By car

Marseille is very well connected to most French cities through numerous highways. As always in France those highways are expensive but practical, comfortable and fast. Marseille is around 8 hours from Paris by car, 2 hours from Nice, 1h30 from Montpellier, 4 hours from Toulouse and 3 hours from Lyon.

By boat

Marseille has a big harbour. There are direct ferry routes from Marseille to Ajaccio, Bastia, Porto Torres, Porto Vecchio and Propriano. There are several piers at the harbour, so it is advisable to check well in advance from which pier you are departing.

Get around

By bus, tramway, subway

Although the Control of Marseilles Transport RTM [5], which manages the network of public transport, does not have good reputation among the Marseillais, there is still a solid network of lines of bus (74 lines) and subway (2 lines). However, the bus management is far from being optimal, and you will not be surprised to see early or late buses! The subway makes it possible to traverse the city very quickly. There is a tram line, which opened June 30, 2007, and a second line will open in the fall. The tickets for bus/métro can be bought in the cafes, at the subway stations, or on the bus; it is advised to buy groups of tickets at 7.10€ (6 voyages) or 13€ (11 voyages), which are not sold in the buses. The number of transfers is unlimited (including the return journeys) within the one-hour limit between the first boarding and last transfer on all the network (you must perforate with each entry to the bus). Be careful! The subway closes at 9p.m. except Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings (until 0:30 a.m). A network of bus at night is available. Note the site of Pilote [6], which repeats the schedules of all the buses, tram, and subways of the RTM but is more readable that the official site of the latter. Moreover, this site repeats the schedules of the majority of transport in common runs of the agglomeration (tram, bus interurban, trains regional) and makes it possible to make search of routes on Marseilles and the nearby communes.

Airport transfers are available for 8.50€ each way to/from Gare St Charles. Tickets may be bought at an outdoor structure between Hall 1 and Hall 3/4 of the main terminal and at a separate kiosk in the new Gare Routière, after Voie N in the Gare St Charles. The bus runs every 20 minutes on 10, 30, and 50 minutes past the hour. The ride is about 30 minutes. The bus says Navette Aeroport Gare St Charles on it. From Gare St Charles, the metro can get you to most hotels.

Metro tickets allow unlimited transfers within 1 hour of initial use for the base 1.70€ fare including re-entry (1 hour limit) to the subway. A daily ticket (carte journee) costs 4.60€.

By boat

A Ferry Boat crosses the Old Harbour (Vieux Port). It is a tourist attraction in itself known as the shortest commercial boat ride in Europe.

By car

Avoid taking your car if you can. Marseille, at least the center, has narrow streets, one-way streets and so on which will make non locals crazy. In addition, the local drivers have a reputation for fearlessness.

Due to the new tramway, satellite navigational systems such as the Tom Tom are likely to be out of date and dangerous if followed. For instance, following a Tom Tom in the centre of Marseille could take you across newly installed pedestrian areas or Tram lines. The one-way system has also completely changed.

By taxi

Be careful of rogue taxi drivers. While there aren't many, there are a few and a €20 ride can quickly become a €40 ride. If you think you've been cheated get the taxi driver's number (located in the rear of the car, often on the window) and go to the Tourist's Office at 4, La Canebière (near Le Vieux Port) and speak to a representative, they can and will get your money back if you've been ripped off. They will also get the taxi driver in significant trouble.

Vieux Port
Vieux Port
View over the city
View over the city
Notre Dame de la Garde
Notre Dame de la Garde
  • le Vieux Port (old harbour): watching fishermen selling their stock by auction is a must. Arriving to Marseille in the Vieux-Port on a summer evening is something you will never forget... You can watch this show by going to Frioul islands or Chateau d'If and going back late in the afternoon. there is also a nice view on the harbor from the Palais du Pharo (Pharo Palace). The famous Canebière avenue goes straight down the harbor. However the Canebière is not that interesting despite its reputation.
  • Notre Dame de la Garde: the big church which overlooks the city. Old fishermen used to have their boats blessed in this church. You can still see many boat models hanging around in the church. From there it is one of the nicest view of the city.
  • Musée des Docks romains (Archéologie-Graffiti-Lapidaire) (the old harbour from Phoenician and Roman times), Place Vivaux, 13002 Marseille. Tel: 04 91 91 24 62
  • Musée d'Archéologie méditerranéenne (Archéologie-Graffiti-Lapidaire), Centre de la Vieille Charité, 2 Rue de la Charité, 13002 Marseille. Tel: 04 91 14 58 59, Fax : 04 91 14 58 76
  • le Cours Julien and la plaine: a hangout area with bookstores, cafés, fountains, and a playground for the small ones (metro stop Cours Julien/Notre Dame du Mont). It is THE trendy area of Marseille. La Plaine is the local name for Place Jean Jaurès close to Cours Julien. Every Thursday and Saturday morning the Plaine market is the place to shop. If you are there early enough you can make very good deals, even if what you'll find there is sometimes "tombé du camion" (fallen off the truck) as one says in Marseille.
  • la Corniche: a walkway and a road by the sea that provides lovely views of the sea, the Chateau d'If to the south, and les Calanques to the east.
  • la Place Castellane: a roundabout with a grand fountain/column/sculpture in the center, with excellent cinemas and cafés surrounding. There is another place called La Castellane : it is a poor suburb of Marseille where Zinedine Zidane the famous football player was born. Be careful not to confuse the two places.
Palais Longchamp
Palais Longchamp
  • Boulevard Longchamp and Palais Longchamp (Longchamp casttle and avenue). From the Réformé church (up the Canebière) you can follow the Boulevard Longchamp where you can see nice example of old upper-class buildings to arrive to Palais Longchamp. The palais is worth visiting though it won't take you long. You can visit the "musee des beaux arts" as well as the natural history museum.
  • Parc Borély (Borely park). A large and great park, 300 meters from the sea. After a siesta in the park go have a drink at Escale Borely (a place with numerous restaurants and bars on the beach) to see the sunset.
  • Le Panier. Panier means basket in French, but in Marseille it is the name of the oldest area of the town. In the middle of this area there is the Vielle Charité, a wonderful old monument, now hosting museums and exhibitions.
  • Let's be honest, beaches from Marseille are not always great. Depending on the weather, they can be polluted. However the small beaches between La Pointe Rouge harbor and La Madrague harbor are cleaner, nicer and usually slightly less crowded.
  • Unité d'Habitation: designed by Le Corbusier. The building is called "la maison du fada" (the house of the foolish) by indegenous people. The building contains a shopping street, a church, a children's school and housings. You can get to the roof and enjoy the breathtaking view of Marseille between hills and sea.
  • Stade Velodrome: the stadium where the local football team "Olympique de Marseille" plays. Football matches are one of the highlights of Marseilles life. Whilst L'OM have fallen on rather lean times the former champions of Europe are the biggest football team in France. The atmosphere at the stadium is fantastic and whilst visitors are unlikely to get tickets for the popular Virage Nord or Sud seats in the Tribune Ganay offer an excellent view and a chance to soak up the atmosphere. Best games involve teams with some travelling support such as St Etienne, Lens or the grand-daddy match of them all against the evil Paris St Germain. Tickets can be bought (ideally several days before the game) either on-line or from the L'OM shop at the Vieux Port.
  • Noailles: The area around the Noailles sub-way station is one of the citys most interesting. Lined with Arabic and Indo-Chinese shops some of the streets could be part of a bazzaar in Algeria. A fascinating area.
  • The Château d'If (If Castle): this small island off the city was a penal colony. It is famous from the novel of Alexandre Dumas, the Comte de Monte-Cristo. Tourist boats leave from the Old harbour.
  • The Calanques. Wonderful fjords in the south of Marseille near Cassis. From Marseille these are best accessed from the University campus at Luminy which can be reached by bus #21 departing from Rond Point du Prado opposite the Stade Velodrome. The 'fjords' are amazing with wonderful blue sea and spectacular lime stone cliffs. The walk along the coast from Cassis to Marseille is spectacular, it can be done in one day at a fast pace. The trail (GR) is clearly marked (red and white strips). From Luminy, you can turn left to Cassis or right to Callelongue (a bus connects you to bus #19, which takes you back to Place Castellane in the center).
  • A tour of Aix-en-Provence is a chance to travel in time. Its architectural and cultural heritage is accessible to everyone, treasures that you will discover simply by walking around the town.
  • You can visit the fabulous restaurants and cafes. You can go and do many adventurous things such as diving and hiring boats! The calanques (fjords) between Marseille and La Ciotat are a very popular sports climbing area. And of course, if the weather is fine, you can simply go to the beach!

Cultural Events

As European Capital of Culture 2013, Marseille is planning great cultural changes and events for the coming years. So far, the main cultural events are:

  • The music festival Marsatac occurs in the end of September and was created 10 years ago. Artists who performed there were for exemple Public Enemy, London Elektricity, The Cinematic Orchestra, Roni Size, Nouvelle Vague, Roots Manuva, dEUS, Mogwai, Peaches, Amon Tobin, De La Soul, Laurent Garnier...
  • La Fiesta Des Suds, at the Dock des Suds, in October is a famous festival dedicated to World music. You can attend concerts of artists such as Asian Dub Foundation, Buena Vista Social Club, Cesaria Evora...
  • La Fête Bleue, "the Blue Festival" at the end of June. A lot of shows (concerts, movie projections, exhibits...) occur in many places in the city, and the theme is the colour blue.
  • La Fête du Panier, at the end of June. During two days, you will be able to see shows, concerts and markets in the oldest area of the town.
  • Le festival du Plateau, at the Cours Julien, in september.
  • Le FDAmM or Festival de Danse et des Arts Multiples de Marseille, is the main dance festival in Marseille and lasts all summer.
  • The festival Avec le Temps that occurs every spring at the Espace Julien (one of the main concerts halls in town) consists in many concerts of French artists, in many genre (Pop, Chanson, Rock, Folk...)

Learn

Marseille is an important university center. The campus at Luminy, on the edge of the callanques is set in spectacular scenery from where the road heads along the coast to Casis.

Eat

La Bouillabaisse de Marseille

La bouillabaisse is an excellent fish-based soup served with la rouille (a garlic-saffron sauce) and bread similar to crostini. La bouillabaisse cannot be enjoyed at any budgetary level. If you are invited to the home of someone making bouillabaisse, then you are in the clear. Never eat cheap bouillabaisse at a resto unless it's not called bouillabaisse; only eat it out if you have to reserve in advance. Bouillabaisse is a meal...first the soup, then the fish.

Budget

There are lots of Kebab restaurants along the Cannebiere.

  • Bar de L'Hotel de Ville: on the "Vieux Port" on the left of the City Hall. A very popular spot for the long lunch break Marseille's worker are use to take. Friendly service, good food and wine at a reasonable price. No English spoken whatsoever.
  • Four des Navettes: next to the St Victor Fort, this bakery is famous for its "Navette" dry biscuit which recipe has been kept secret for almost a century. This is one of Marseille's culinary speciality..not to miss.
  • le Petit Nice: on La Plaine next to the Court Julien, nice little cafe.
  • les 13 coins: in "Le Panier", a nice terrace with a nice atmosphere
  • Le Loft du Vieux Port (www.apartmentmarseille.com), 33 Rue Saint Saens 13001 (Closest Metro: Vieux Port), 33 6 77 94 34 50, [7]. Le Loft du Vieux Port [8] is a spacious studio apartment in the centre of Marseille, ideal for holidays, city breaks and business visits. Located in the historic centre next to (and with views of) the Vieux Port (Old Harbour), Le Loft is surrounded by Marseille's best restaurants, cafés and bars. (43.2929,5.3720) edit

Budget

Hotel Lutetia** From 60€ Between the St Charles Trainstation and the Old port 0033.491.508.178 www.lutetia-marseille.com

  • La Cigale et la Fourmie, Tel.: +33 491 400 512 (Fax: +33 491 400 510, info@cigale-fourmi.com), [9]. Calmly situated 30 minutes by public transport from the city and 30 minutes walk from the beach. The old house in the 'Village de Mazargues', a district south of Marseille, has been renovated and turned into a Backpackers Hostel. Every room has kitchen and a bathroom. Free WiFi and Internet access are at your disposal, complimentary coffee is served in the morning (no breakfast, but bakery nearby), 6 bikes are available for loan and there is no curfew/lockout. Dormitory beds are 15 € per night, rooms from 35 €.
  • The hostel Bois-Luzy is not very expensive, but also not very nice. The hostel is not very close to the city centre and is run by a cranky old man who seems intent on making sure nobody has any fun.
  • Adagio Marseille Prado Plage PV-Holidays +33 1 58 21 55 84, Completely renovated, the residence is in the heart of the Le Prado quarter, 100 metres from the beach, easy to get to via the Avenue du Prado or the Corniche. It lies in a quiet residential area close to a large number of restaurants and the Palais des Congrès. Note: This site can accommodate people with reduced mobility (minor disabilities, elderly people) with a able-bodied escort and families with young children.

Contact

Le Vieux Port has free wireless access, available from many of the bars and restaurants, and in some places in the street (although there are not many places to sit). The ESSID to use is "Marseille Sans Fils" and the network is not encrypted. When you first connect, your browser will take you to a web page about the service in French -- simply click on "Cliquez ici" ("click here") on that page to use the network freely.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

French

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Wikipedia

Proper noun

Marseille

  1. Marseilles

Simple English

File:Marseille
Marseille harbour

Marseille is a city in the south of France. About 1.5 million people live the urban area, about 1.3 million in the city itself. This makes it the second largest city in France, but only the third largest when it comes to urban area. The second largest is Lyon. Marseille is located all in the south, at the Mediterranean. It has the biggest commercial port in France. The port is also among the most important ones in the Mediterranean.

Although part of the region of Provence, Marseilles has a soul of its own. Founded in 600 b.c. by the Greek sailors of Phocaea, this great city is the oldest in France and surely the most complex.

The city was started around 600 BC by Greek sailors from (modern day) Foça. This was a Greek colony in Asia Minor. It is located in modern-day Turkey.

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