Marseille, France

Marseille is one of the five biggest cities in France.  It’s also the capital of the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, capital of the Departement Bouches-du-Rhône, and has the biggest commercial harbour in France.  Marseille lies on the Mediterranean Sea, between the Côte Bleu and the Calanques, known in the region as the Provence.

Marseille is a multicultural city, with increasing tourism.  The opening of a TGV line (the French high speed train) between Paris and Marseille in 2001 was first of all intended to give the people living in Marseille a fast connection to Paris.  Now the Parisians discovered you can sit on a sunny terrace within 3 hours and there are a lot of Parisians who bought a second appartment in Marseille.  The opening of new terminal for low cost flight companies at the Marseille airport in November 2006 have the purpose to stimulate tourism further.  More impulses are given by a project the renew the city (Euromediterranée). For years a lot of construction was going on in the city for things like a new tram network.

Marseille has a Mediterranean climate, with mild and humid Winters and warm, dry Summers. January and February are the coldest months, with average temperatures around 10 °C.  July and August are the hottest months, with avery temperatures around 25 °C. Marseille is also know for the mistral winds causing the blue skies.  The sun shines there about 2800 hours a year.

Things to see

Architecture:

  • The Vieux-Port designed by the architect Fernand Pouillon
  • The Canebière
  • Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, designed by the architect Jacques Henri Esperandieu
  • Stade Vélodrome, the stadium of the local soccer team, Olympique de Marseille
  • Cité radieuse de Marseille designed by the architect Le Corbusier
  • The train station (gare) Saint-Charles
  • Palais Longchamp
  • Hôtel de Cabre, the oldest house in Marseille
  • Hôtel-Dieu, historiscal hospital in the Vieux Port
  • The cathédrale de la Major
  • Musée de la Vieille Charité, in the middel of the quartier du panier
  • Place Castellane
  • Abbaye de Saint-Victor, the oldest religious place in France
  • Jardin des Vestiges, leftovers of the Greek settlement Massalia from 6th century before Christ

Nature

  • Parc Borély
  • Marseille beach, plages du Prado
  • The Calanques
  • Parc du 26è Centenaire
  • De îles du Frioul, islands on the coast of Marseille
  • Vallon des Auffes, small harbour in the 7th arrondissement

Other

  • L’Estaque known by painter Paul Cézanne spending a lot of time there
  • Quartier du Panier, the oldest neighbourhood in France
  • Cours Julien, Bohemian and upper class neighbourhood in Marseille

(source: wikipedia.org)

You can find more pictures here.

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