HISTORY OF MARSEILLE

Marseille is the oldest French city. It was founded around 600 BC, and was known as Μασσαλία (Massalía). From Antiquity, Marseille has been a major commercial leisure harbour. Marseille quickly became one of the major places for exchange between the Mediterranean and Celtic cultures, thanks to its opening towards the Mediterranean sea.

In 1481, Marseille became a French city. The first chamber of commerce in France opened in 1599 in the city. Then, Louis XIV initiated an important planning operation which extended Marseille out of its medieval walls. The city area was tripled, with the construction of a new City Hall and a new hospital, among others… Marseille enjoyed a considerable commercial boost during the nineteenth century, becoming an industrial and prosperous city. New buildings such as the Prefecture, the Palais du Pharo, the Cathédrale de la Major, as well as Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde…).

Legacies of this past, Marseille harbour as well as the maritime economy remain the major sources of the regional, national and European activities. Its exceptional attractions with a 57km seabord and the Calanques National Park 10 minutes away from the city makes it a strong tourist place.

The opening of Marseille on the Mediterranean Sea has made it a cosmopolitan city of cultural and economic exchanges. It is often considered the “Gate of the East”. In 2013, Marseille was elected European Capital of Culture, which triggered an extraordinary transformation of the city, including the creation of the MuCEM, Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean.

Iles Goudes

Iles Goudes

Small picturesque fishermen village located at the end of Marseille.

Les calanques

Les calanques

The calanques creek, unique in Europe, can be seen from Marseille to Cassis. Twenty miles of white cliffs plunging steeply into turquoise water.

Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde

Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde

``The Benevolent Mother``, emblematic face of the city, is situated on a hill of 162m high above sea level and offers a unique view of Marseille and the Mediterranean Sea.

Le Palais Longchamp

Le Palais Longchamp

The most impressive water tower ever built. If you are looking for green and calm, you will enjoy the pleasant Palace gardens.

Le Château d’If et les Iles de Frioul

Le Château d’If et les Iles de Frioul

Discover the famous castle of Count of Monte Cristo from Alexandre Dumas'novel, located off Marseille: an exceptional view of Marseille and the islands of Friuli.

La Canebière

La Canebière

At the top, the Reformed Church, downtown, the Old Port. In between, the famous “Canebière”, Marseille’s 5th Avenue.

La Corniche Kennedy

La Corniche Kennedy

From Endoume to Prado beaches, the Kennedy Corniche follows the seaside and offers an majestic view on the Mediterranean Sea and its islands.

Le Vieux-Port

Le Vieux-Port

This is the largest marina of France. Enjoy your walk on the port to visit the fish market, which takes place every morning on the quai des Belges.

Le Vallon des Auffes

Le Vallon des Auffes

At the heart of the city, below the Corniche, small huts, fishermen and fishing nets are doing of the “Vallon des Auffes”, the most picturesque fishing port of Marseille.

Le MUCEM

Le MUCEM

The museum is devoted to European and Mediterranean civilisations. With a permanent collection charting historical and cultural cross-fertilisation in the Mediterranean basin, it takes an interdisciplinary approach to society through the ages up to modern times.