Marseille has a history of over 2600 years. This distinctly Mediterranean city is rich in cultural and architectural buildings. The capital of the French province of Provence is visited annually by millions of tourists from all over the world. They come by planes, ships and ultra-fast TGV trains (arriving from Paris in less than 3 hours). On the terraces guests dine and drink cocktails and spend the afternoon sailing by sea. The Panier Quarter is a typical Mediterranean quarter. It is characterized by spacious shopping malls and narrow streets. The La Vieille Charite Museum is worth a visit here. The Maghreb Quarter is special because Europe and Africa are mesmerizing. They are alluring as the surrounding rocky coves of Sormiou, Port-Miou and Sugiton.
African immigrants came to this port and trading town at one time, bringing in various traditions and cultures. The specific joie de vivre (the joy of life) should be discovered slowly. Marseille was once an eternal inspiration to painters Cezanne and Renoir who appreciated his beauty.
There are over a hundred hotels in Marseille for conference purposes only. The most famous are Sofitel, Petit Nice Passedat Relais & Chateaux. There are numerous affordable hotels near the coast (Le Richelieu, Europeen, Hotel de Ville). http://www.visit-france.com
The Old Port or Vieux-Port for whose appearance Louis XIV is most deserving. English architects Norman Foster and Michel Desvigne emphasized pedestrian zones and social spaces (from large plateaus to mobile terraces). The largest building in Marseille is Notre- Dame de la Garde. This basilica was built at the end of the 19th century and is 154 meters high. Its tower is adorned with a gilded Virgin Cup. The interior of the basilica is a combination of Maori style and lavish mosaics. http://www.marseille-tourisme.com
Napoleon III built the Palais du Pharo he did not like Today it is a congress center with 500 seats and a large restaurant. The Natural History Museum and Museum of Fine Arts are located in the monumental and lavish Palais Longchamp. In front of the palace is a lake. That is why the palace was called “Water Castle”.ee.france.fr
A wealthy Marseille merchant built the Chateau Borely during the 18th century. Around the castle is a park with French gardens, a botanical garden, a rose garden and a bike path. http://www.marseille-tourisme.com
The Museum of the Musee d Arts Africanis and Oceaniens et Amerindies see the remains of France’s colonial past. There is the world’s best collection of skulls. A monument to the French anthem of the original name “Rhine War Song” can be seen on Thubaneau Street. The song was named because it was sung on the streets of Marseille by members of the Republican army during the French Revolution.
Along the Le Canebiere Avenue are Haussmann-style buildings named after Baron George Haussmann. Baron Haussmann devised some of the city’s most beautiful neighborhoods during Napoleon III. The city is best known for Le Corbusier’s works. The Cite Radieus concrete building with 337 apartments and colorful balconies stands out. Marseille and all of Provence are known for the soap industry, which began in the late 18th century. There were 48 soap factories back then. They employed hundreds of workers and produced 76,000 tons of soap. Although the advent of industrialization has changed, soaps in home-made soap (with Provencal herbs and fruits) can still be purchased in the city. Another important asset of the city are ceramic figures. They were built in the late 18th century. They are made by hand. The third symbol of the city is the famous stew that was once eaten by poor fishermen. It’s called “bouillabaisse.” This is a Marseille version of fish stew. You need at least five fish and shellfish to prepare it.ee.france.fr
Marseille biscuits called “navettes” are made in the form of small boats. These are biscuits flavored with the aroma of orange blossom or lemon. The most famous local drink is “patis” (anise-dominated herbal liqueur). This liqueur was invented by French artist Paul Richard at the end of the last century. The liquor gained worldwide fame.