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Marseilles

Marseilles is one of France’s most multicultural and multiethnic cities, but above it is all an important political and commercial centre, thanks to its active port. The warm sunny weather is one of the main attractions of this city’s pleasant living environment. The Mistral wind gives the city a luminosity that has inspired famous painters, like Cezanne, to come and paint at L’Estaque’s small port.
 
Marseilles and its port
 
The urban layout is deeply marked by its past and relics that have been buried over the centuries are being continuously unearthed. The visitor is taken on a journey that begins with its Greek and Roman origins and passes through its medieval religious foundations, the fortifications of the sixteenth century, the elegant residences of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the many prestigious buildings constructed in the nineteenth century, right up to the great architectural achievements of the twenty-first century. A city of art and culture, Marseilles, with its 111 quarters and 16 arrondissements, is rich with monuments, locations and museums to discover.
 
Fortifications
Britain’s Norman Foster and French landscaper Michel Desvigne have been chosen for the urban planning of the city centre, which includes the creation of a semi-pedestrian area in the old port
 
The basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde, whose Virgin Mary with child protects the city from a height of 154 metres, is the highlight of Marseilles. The Vieille Major cathedral, dating from the fifth century, and the Nouvelle Major cathedral in Byzantine Romanesque style, situated in the Vieux Panier quarter, are classed as historic monuments.
 
Notre-Dame de la Garde
 
The Canebiére is the lifeblood of Marseille. Its name derives from the “canebe” or hemp, which was used by the rope-makers who settled here in the Middle Ages.
 
Palais du Pharo
Other symbolic locations are the Palais du Pharo, Napoleon the Third’s residence, situated directly on the seafront and surrounded by vast gardens.
 
Palais Longchamp
And the Palais Longchamp, a monument linked to the construction of the Durance canal.
 
A limestone silhouette is visible off the coast of Marseilles. This is the Frioul Archipelago and its four islands: Pomègues, Ratonneau, If and Tiboulen. If-Castle was made famous by Alexander Dumas, who used it as the prison setting in his book “The Count Of Monte Cristo”.
 
If-Castle
 
Marseilles has preserved its passionately religious traditions. In the month of December, the santonniers, traders of clay handicrafts, settle along the Cours St. Louis, bringing life to a festival that for two centuries has announced the arrival of the holidays and contributes to the excitement and festivities that come with the Christmas preparations.
On 2 February, the procession of Notre-Dame de Confession, known more commonly as the “Black Madonna”, takes place before dawn in Saint Victor’s basilica with a vigil of green candles. After mass, the people of Marseille head to the Four des Navettes bakery to buy the famous boat-shaped orange blossom-flavoured biscuits, which are a representation of the ship that ran aground carrying the Black Madonna. 
Don’t miss a visit to the Mémorial de la Marseillaise in the ancient Salle du Jeu de Paume, where the corps was formed of Marseillaise confederates who popularised the ‘Song Of The Rhine Army’, which later became the national anthem.
 
 
Text by Eugenio Sorrentino
Photos: Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock

Copyright © Sisterscom.com

All rights reserved.
Published on Avion N41

Updated June 2019

Video: www.marseille-tourisme.com

 

 

Tourism Board

www.marseille-tourisme.com

www.france.fr

 

 

Where to sleep in Marsiglia
 
Marseille is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for place of interest.
 
WHERE TO GO
Monuments
DE LA MAJOR CATHEDRAL
NOTRE DAME DE LA GARDE
 
SAINT FERREOL CHURCH
VIEILLE CHARITE'
 
ST. VICTOR ABBEY
L'OPERA
 
CITY HALL
PREFECTURE
 
PALAIS LONGCHAMP
BOURSE PALACE
 
OLD PORT
SAN JEAN CASTLE
 
PALAIS DU PHARO
CHATEAU D'IF
 
Museums
MUCEM - MUSEUM OF MEDITERRANEAN AND EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION
MUSEUM OF DECORATIVE ARTS, CERAMICS AND FASHION
 
Excursions
FRIOUL ARCHIPELAGO
AVIGNON
 
Destinations found in the vicinity
AVION TOURISM  MAGAZINE
AVION TOURISM MAGAZINE
in digital version
Italian's art cities. On this issue we recommend you: Venice, Bergamo, Milan, Turin, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Palermo and Catania. Discover the destinations directly on the website of the magazine.
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