Marseille is a fantastic and beautiful city that you should visit. It has a lot of history, beautiful buildings, and delicious food and wine. The port is also very pretty. Everyone can find something they like in Marseille.
Marseille is a stunning city located on the Mediterranean coast. It has a rich history, beautiful architecture, and vibrant culture. There are many things to see and do in Marseille. One of the must-see attractions is the Old Port, where visitors can watch fishermen sell their catches and take boat tours to see the city from the water.
Another popular attraction is the Notre-Dame de la Garde, a beautiful basilica on a hill that offers panoramic views of Marseille and the surrounding area. For history buffs, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations is must-see. Visitors can learn about everything from ancient civilizations to modern-day art and culture.
Marseille is known for its delicious food and wine. Visitors can try traditional French dishes like bouillabaisse and ratatouille at many excellent restaurants and cafes. The region is also home to many wineries where visitors can sample famous wines.
Geography of Marseille
Marseille is the third-largest city in France, after Paris and Lyon. It is located on the coast and has many beautiful areas nearby, including the Calanques, a rugged coastal area with small fjord-like inlets, and the Sainte-Baume Mountain ridge.
The city also has two large forts, Fort Saint-Nicolas and Fort Saint-Jean, at the entrance to the Old Port, and the Frioul archipelago, which includes the famous Château d’If. Marseille’s main commercial center is the Canebière boulevard, which runs from the Old Port to the Réformés quarter.
The city has several pedestrian zones, including Rue St Ferréol and Cours Julien. Marseille’s main railway station, Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles, is located in the 1st arrondissement.
Marseille has a hot-summer mediterranean climate, which means cool-mild winters with moderate rainfall, and hot, mostly dry summers. December, January, and February are the coldest months, with temperatures around 12 °C during the day and 4 °C at night. July and August are the hottest months, with temperatures around 28–30 °C during the day and 19 °C at night.
Sunny | Dry City
Marseille is officially the sunniest major city in France, with over 2,800 hours of sunshine annually, while the average sunshine in the country is around 1,950 hours.
It is also the driest major city with only 512 mm of precipitation annually, mainly due to the mistral, a cold, dry wind originating in the Rhône Valley. This wind brings clear skies and sunny weather to the region. Snowfalls are infrequent, occurring less than 50% of years.
The hottest temperature in Marseille was 40.6 °C in July 1983 during a heat wave, and the lowest temperature was −16.8 °C in February 1929 during a strong cold wave.
Marseille was founded around 600 BC by Greek settlers from Turkey. It became a major trading hub and sided with Rome during the Second Punic War. However, the city lost its independence in 49 BC during Caesar’s Civil War.
Marseille continued to be an important trading center even after being captured by the Visigoths in the 5th century and the sack by the forces of Charles Martel in AD 739. It was part of the County of Provence in the 10th century and experienced both prosperity and decline due to events like the Black Death and the sack by the Crown of Aragon.
The city’s fortifications were strengthened in the 15th century. During the 18th century, Marseille was a focal point of the French Revolution and became a major center for immigration from former French colonies in Africa during the 19th century. The city was occupied by the Germans during World War II and heavily damaged.
Marseille has a thriving economy with over 7,200 companies created since 2000. The city’s GDP is US$81.4 billion, or US$43,430 per capita. The commercial port is a major source of employment, with 45,000 jobs and €4 billion added to the regional economy.
The port handles 100 million tons of freight annually, making it the fifth largest port in Europe. Marseille also has a growing service sector, which includes high-tech industries and cultural activities.
Marseille is a city in France that has its own unique culture and is proud of its differences from the rest of France. It is a regional center for culture and entertainment with important opera houses, historical and maritime museums, art galleries, cinemas, clubs, bars, and restaurants. Marseille has many theatres and an extensive arts center in La Friche.
The city has also been important in the arts and has been the birthplace and home of many French writers and poets. Marseille is known for its multicultural influences, and people from diverse backgrounds live together. The city’s geography, surrounded by mountains, helps explain why Marseille does not have the same problems as Paris.
Marseille has been multicultural since the 1890s, and immigrants from around the Mediterranean arrive in the city. Marseille continued to be multicultural after World War II, with a wave of Jewish immigrants from North Africa and French citizens from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.
Multi-cultural Marseille can be observed by a visitor at the market at Noailles, where Lebanese bakeries, an African spice market, Chinese and Vietnamese groceries, fresh vegetables and fruit, shops selling couscous, and shops selling Caribbean food are side by side with stalls selling shoes and clothing from around the Mediterranean. Marseille is proud of its multiculturalism and tolerance.
In 2013, Marseille was the European Capital of Culture, featuring more than 900 cultural events held throughout Marseille and the surrounding communities. These cultural events generated more than 11 million visits. The European Capital of Culture was also the occasion to unveil more than 600 million euros in new cultural infrastructure in Marseille and its environs, including the MuCEM designed by Rudy Ricciotti.
Marseille has a rich cultural history, and its multiculturalism has played a significant role in shaping the city’s identity. The legacy of the Armenians in the city still lives on, as they were successful moneylenders and bankers in Marseille.
Tarot de Marseille
The Tarot de Marseille is a popular type of tarot card deck named after the French city where it was first used for fortune-telling. Before it was called the Tarot de Marseille, it was known as the Italian Tarot and simply Tarot.
The name was changed by a French cardmaker and fortune-teller named Paul Marteau in the 1930s. The deck was originally used to play a local card game before it became popular for fortune-telling in the late 18th century.
The name Tarot de Marseille distinguished it from other types of tarot cards, such as the Tarot de Besançon, which were named after other French cities where cards were made.
In Marseille, there is also a tradition of making small hand-crafted figurines called santons, which are used in the Provençal Christmas creche. Since 1803, there has been a Santon Fair held on the last Sunday of November in Marseille. It takes place in the Cours d’Estienne d’Orves, a large square near the Vieux-Port.
The Opéra was Marseille’s main cultural attraction from the end of the 18th century until the late 1970s. It was located near the Old Port and had a classical style.
Unfortunately, in 1919 a fire almost completely destroyed it, but the facade was restored and the opera house reconstructed in a mostly Art Deco style.
Currently, the Opéra de Marseille stages six or seven operas each year. Since 1972, the Ballet national de Marseille has performed at the opera house, with Roland Petit as its director from its foundation until 1998.
Popular Events | Festivals
Marseille has many popular festivals that take place in different neighborhoods. These festivals have concerts, animations, and outdoor bars. The Fête du Panier is a festival that takes place in June.
On June 21, there are dozens of free concerts in the city as part of France’s Fête de la Musique, featuring music from all over the world. Marseille also hosts a Gay Pride event in early July and the International Documentary Festival at the beginning of July.
At the end of September, the electronic music festival Marsatac takes place, and in October, the Fiesta des Suds offers many concerts of world music. Marseille is also famous in France for its hip hop music. Bands like IAM, Fonky Family, Psy 4 de la Rime, and Keny Arkana originated from Marseille. Massilia Sound System represents ragga music in Marseille.
Marseille is famous for its seafood dish called bouillabaisse. It’s a stew made with at least three types of local fresh fish, shellfish, potatoes, and vegetables. The broth is served with a sauce made of garlic, olive oil, and saffron called rouille, spread on toasted bread.
Aïoli is another popular sauce made with raw garlic, lemon juice, eggs, and olive oil, served with boiled fish, eggs, and vegetables. Anchoïade is a paste made from anchovies, garlic, and olive oil, served with bread or vegetables. Bourride is a soup made with white fish and aïoli.
Other popular foods in Marseille include Fougasse, a flat bread similar to focaccia, Navette de Marseille, a boat-shaped cookie with a hint of orange peel, and Farinata, a fried chickpea block. The alcoholic beverage called Pastis, made with aniseed and spice, is also very popular.
Pieds paquets is a dish made with sheep’s feet and offal, while Pistou is a sauce made with basil, garlic, and olive oil. Finally, Tapenade is a paste made from chopped olives, capers, and olive oil.
The city has several urban development projects that aim to improve the quality of life and attract firms and people. These include new parks, museums, public spaces, and real estate projects. Marseille also has a high concentration of entertainment venues, such as museums, cinemas, theaters, clubs, bars, restaurants, fashion shops, hotels, and art galleries.
While Marseille’s unemployment rate has decreased from 20% in 1995 to 14% in 2004, it remains higher than the national average. Youth unemployment in some parts of the city is reported to be as high as 40%.
Marseille is a city in France with 16 districts called “arrondissements,” each divided into smaller areas called “quartiers.” The arrondissements are grouped into eight sectors, each with a mayor and council. There are 303 council members in total.
The largest arrondissement is the 9th, which includes parts of Calanques National Park, while the most populous is the 13th, with a population of 89,316 in 2007. From 1950 to the mid-1990s, Marseille was a stronghold for Socialist and Communist parties.
Gaston Defferre, a member of the Socialist party, was mayor of Marseille for six consecutive terms until his death in 1986. He was succeeded by Robert Vigouroux of the European Democratic and Social Rally party, and later by Jean-Claude Gaudin of the conservative UMP party.
In recent years, the Communist Party has lost much of its support in the northern boroughs of the city, while the far-right National Front has gained some support. The 2014 municipal election saw the left (PS) and far-right (FN) dominate the northern arrondissements, while the conservative (UMP) dominated the southern part of the city.
Marseille is also divided into twelve cantons, each sending two members to the Departmental Council of the Bouches-du-Rhône department.
Marseille is a cosmopolitan city that has attracted immigrants throughout its history because of its importance as a Mediterranean port. Many waves of immigrants have arrived in Marseille during the 20th century due to economic conditions and political unrest in Europe and the rest of the world.
At the 2019 census, 18% of the population in the Marseille metropolitan area were born in foreign countries. Currently, about one third of the population in Marseille can trace their roots back to Italy, with other significant communities including Maghrebis, Turks, Comorians, Chinese, and Vietnamese.
In 1999, about 40% of young people under 18 in several arrondissements were of Maghrebi origin. Since 2013, there has been an increase in Central- and Eastern European immigrants settling in Marseille, mainly Romanians and Poles.
In Marseille, France, most people follow the Christian faith, with the majority being Roman Catholic. Other Christian denominations include Armenian Apostolic, Protestant (mostly Pentecostal), and Eastern Orthodox. The second-largest religious group is Muslim, followed by non-religious people. There are also smaller communities of Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist followers.
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