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Marseille Sights and Landmarks Guide, France

 Sights of MarseillesMarseilles Archaeology and HistoryChateau d’If - Marseilles

This ancient castle on the little island of If, just off the coast of Marseilles, was built in the 16th century and was commissioned by King Francois the First.  It later became a state prison in the 1600’s and fans of The Count of Monte Cristo, written by Alexandre Dumas will recognise it as the main setting for the novel.  This literary work is one of the things that give Marseilles much of its fame, but it is by no means definitive of the city.

Abbaye Saint Victor

   Founded in the 5th century Abbaye Saint Victor was built on the tomb of a Christian martyr.  It sits on the south bank of Vieux-Port (Old Port), Marseilles, and most of it is open to tourists.  History and archaeology students will be interested in its catacombs and crypts, and also in its ancient sarcophagi.  The Abbaye Saint Victor is famous for its concerts which feature a variety of religious and classical music.  It also draws large audiences for the wonderful ceremonies that take place in Marseilles during La Fete de la Chandeleur or Candlemas.

Parks and Nature - MarseillesParc Valmer

   This beautiful park was built by Charles Gonnella in the late nineteenth century.  It is situated on a promontory overlooking the Bay of Marseilles.  The villa itself, with its stunning architecture and large proportions, looks more like a small castle than a house.  The park boasts a wide variety of both indigenous and exotic vegetation.

Corniche du President J.F. Kennedy

   This long and scenic coastal road originated as a route from Marseilles city centre to the resort towns on the coast.  It was built between 1850 and 1861 and has since been extended in 1957 and again in 1968 to accommodate the increase in traffic.  The route itself is not only picturesque but also contains a number of scenic walkways and viewpoints from which to enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Frioul Islands and Marseilles’ famous natural harbour.

Museums and Galleries of MarseillesMusee Cantini

   This beautiful building, built in Marseilles in 1694, was bought by Marbrier Jules Cantini in 1888, and donated to the city in 1916, at which time it became home to one of the city’s renowned art galleries.  The collection which is exhibited in the Musee Cantini today mainly covers the years from 1900 to 1960.  The exhibit covers a variety of styles including Neo-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism.

Musee de la Mode

   Fashion and design students will be fascinated by Marseilles’ Musee de la Mode which was established in 1989 and is an annex of the Mediterranean Fashion Institute.  The museum is home to an amazing exhibition of clothing, 6,000 garments in all, ranging from modes of the 1940’s to styles of the present day.

Anyone planning a trip to France should definitely include Marseilles in their itinerary.  It is a fascinating city with so much to offer and a place not to be missed.

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Marseille City Ratings

  • Rating68%
    City Rank237
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