Sights in Marseille

City of art and culture, Marseille will surprise you with its many wonders. The traditional and the contemporary go hand in hand in this city with a history that goes back 26 centuries. Visitors to Marseille will experience a trip through the ages, from the city’s Greek and Roman origins, to the medieval religious foundations and up to modern times with the major architectural achievements of the 21st century. Marseille’s 111 neighbourhoods and 16 districts are bursting with a wide variety of monuments, picturesque sights and museums.

The Old Port (Vieux-Port)

In 600 B.C., the Greeks from Phocaea in Asia Minor landed in the Lacydon calanque. Throughout Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the city was established only on the northern shore of the port. Expansion toward the south only began in 1666, due to the influence of Louis XIV. 2010 to 2013 Marseille draws a new center town with the semi pedestrianized Old Port The English architect Norman Foster and Michel Desvigne have been choosen in December 2010 to create a new urban Pedestrian Port. Marseille is proud to welcome an international personality as Norman Foster (300 awards and Priztker Price in 1999) The challenge is to offer a good place for pedestrian creating a large place for people and less for cars. Voluntarily mineralized to be faithful to the history of the old Port, with a granite pavement., the aim is to decrease the transit and favor the public transportation.

Notre-Dame de la Garde

Rising 154 meters above the sea, the “Garde” hill is Marseille’s highest point. The basilica, whose Madonna and Child protect the city and its inhabitants, was built between 1853 and 1864, when it was consecrated. (proper attire required inside the basilica). New museum in the basilica since July 2013

La Canebière

main thoroughfare and symbol of Marseille, this avenue derives its name from the word “canebe”, or hemp, which was used by the ropemakers that were located here in the Middle Ages. Haussmann-style buildings were later erected here, during the 19th century.


the Old and the New Major:Located in the Panier district, they are both classified historical monuments. The first dates from the 12 th century. The second was built during the rule of Napoleon the 3 rd in the Romanesque-Byzantine style.

Palais Longchamp

a hymn to the glory of water, this monumental palace and water tower is closely related to the construction of the Durance canal. It is considered to be one of best examples of Second Empire architecture in Marseille

Islands of the Frioul and the Château d’If

A limestone silhouette off the coast of Marseille, the four islands that make up the Frioul archipelago point toward the shore: Pomègues, Ratonneau, If and Tiboulen. Alexandre Dumas made the Château d’If famous, using the island as the prison setting for his hero, the Count of Monte Cristo. The castle is a former fortress that was built under the rule of François I in order to defend the city

Palais du Pharo

the mythical palace of Napoleon III who wanted to reside right on the water, the Pharo palace is one of the Phocaean city’s landmarks.Towering above the sea, surrounded by vast gardens, the building is an ideal location for seminars and leisurely strolls.

Château Borély and its park

Formerly the property of the Borély family, it was built in 1766. Part of the estate was purchased by the city in the middle of the 19th century. Among the attractions in the 17-hectare park are a lake, French gardens, a rose garden, a botanical garden, shaded lawns and bicycle paths. The site is highly appreciated by many of Marseille’s inhabitants. The castle is currently undergoing renovation work. Completely restored to welcome the museum of the Decorative Arts, Fashion and Ceramics

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