Marseille dates back some 2600 years and is considered by many as the “doyenne” of all the French cities.
The entrance of the harbour is marked out by two forts, the Fort Saint Nicolas (South) and the Fort Saint-Jean (North) which were formerly linked up by one of the symbol of the Old Port, the famous Transporter Bridge. Immortalized by painting, photography and cinema, it was and remains dear to the people of Marseilles’ heart. The restored ferry-boat, boat dear to Marcel Pagnol, sails several times a day from the Place aux Huiles to the city hall. The gawkers sitting outside can also admire the famous Bonne-Mère (Notre Dame de la Garde) and the church Saint-Ferréol, while sipping the legendary Pastis enjoying a more peaceful environment because the emblematic Old Port has undergone a regeneration to celebrate the occasion of Marseille Provence 2013 according to the concept “the pedestrians have the place of honour”.
Majestic cliffs, sea as far as the eye can see, exceptional fauna and flora: that is the dream setting of the calanques of Marseille. This is a unique site, allowing nature lovers to enjoy various activities such as scuba-diving, yachting (boat, kayaking, paddle…), trekking, climbing under a heady sun and blissful tranquility.
Among the best-known places, the Calanques of Cassis, Morgiou, Sormiou, En Vaux…invite you to let go of your worldly worries to the true beauty of these magnificent locations.
The Sainte Victoire remains a well-known place where you can simply enjoy a walk (trekking, mountain biking) and for rock climbing. Different routes allow ramblers to reach a priory (XVIIth century, pilgrimage) and to the Provence Cross where the magnificent panorama on the Provencal mountains and the rolling plains of the Aix region (Pays d’Aix) rewards the adventurous. This splendid circumnavigation of the mountain offers an itinerary including splendid viewpoints and the option to take rests in the surrounding little villages.
This museum was opened this year, on the 7th of June. It is invested with an important mission: attracting large crowds (300.000 visitors a year), changing the image of the city and bringing these two sides of the Mediterranean in closer union.
Located at the entrance of the Old Port, the MuCem presents a wonderful and “exotic” architecture which is impressive: the 44 000 m2 surface, coated with a concrete hairnet, is linked up with the Fort Saint-Jean by a footbridge. With the restoration of the Old Port, the whole forms an overview, opened onto the city, which will be entirely dedicated to exhibitions, debates and concerts. On the ground floor of the museum, a permanent gallery (the Mediterranean gallery, as it is called) explains to the visitors the singularity and the diversity of this world. Upstairs, besides the Fort Saint-Jean areas, two big spaces for temporary exhibitions are provided.