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Old Port Marseille

Walks

It is the oldest port of Marseille and the best known, the Old Port is a must-see during a stay in Marseille.

 

The first Greeks (Phoenicians) arrived in 600 BC in the calanque of Lacydon, occupied at this time by a Ligurian tribe. The Ligure king's daughter, Gyptis, chooses to marry Protis, commander of the Greek sailors. As a gift, the king offers to the couple, the northern part of the calanque so they can build their city they named Massalia.

Another highlight in its history is the destructions of the walls surrounding the city in 1666 following the expansion order of King Louis XIV. The city is growing towards the south and the port gets two forts built for its protection: Fort Saint Jean at the north and Fort Saint Nicolas at the south.

In 1719, a sanitary point is built in front of the Fort Saint Jean to complete the quarantine system in place in Frioul. These efforts will not prevent the plague to invade Marseille a last time in 1720. That will result in the death of 30 to 40 000 people , almost half the population of Marseilles at this time.

The famous Ferry Boat enters the port of Marseille in 1880, linking the two docks that were built between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the function of the commercial port of Vieux Port is moved to the Grand Port Maritime of Marseille. Since then, the Vieux Port welcomes boaters and thanks to the shuttles in place, it enables to reach the islands of Frioul, Castle of If and the Calanques of Marseille.

The famous Transporter Bridge was built in 1903 between the two forts. It was inaugurated two years later and destroyed at the end of the Second World War, probably by the Nazis.

Today, the Old Port of Marseille has been redesigned as a semi-pedestrian esplanade, halving access to cars and it is used for many events.

 

Do not miss the shade house, "l’Ombrière", designed by the architect Norman Foster and installed in spring 2013 on the Vieux Port. It is over 1000sqm and returns impressive reflections of the Vieux Port throughout the different hours of the day.

 

Our hotel on the Old Port of Marseille enjoys an exceptional situation, which will allow you to stay in the heart of the historic center of the city. With rooms highlighting the history of trading posts of Marseille, travel between Veracruz, Pondichery, the country of the Rising Sun, Africa and the Arabian Nights !