The Palais Longchamp Marseille

The Palais Longchamp is a symbolic monument, erected in 1862 to commemorate the arrival of water from the Durance canal in the city and completed in 1869.


Henry Jacques Espérandieu, architect of major monuments such as Notre Dame de la Garde or the "New Major", was entrusted with the task of building a palace in the glory of Water, Arts and Science. The works would result in a water tower surrounded by waterfalls, a Natural History Museum, a Museum of Fine Arts, as well as by two gardens.


It's interesting to know that in 1856, this place hosted one of the first zoo gardens in France. It had many species such as elephant, lion, tiger, giraffe or polar bears before being closed in 1987! These animals were housed in kind of huts, renovated in 2013. The park now welcomes 110 "Z'animaux" (funny colored animals) from the Funny Zoo of Marseille Provence 2013.

For this special occasion, major renovations were undertaken in 2011, to regain the appearance it had when it opened in 1869. Thus, the Palais Longchamp has undergone major transformations both inside and outside, as far as the renovation of sculptures, facades and ironwork. The buildings are cleaned well with a huge rework of decorations! Classified as a historical monument in 1999 and considered among the most beautiful water tower in France, the Palais Longchamp regains his luster and plans to host major international exhibitions on this occasion.

Note that this place also hosts the Observatory of Marseille which is the oldest scientific institution in the city. It offers regular astronomy activities and has a very nice room of old instruments. The association "ANDROMEDE" organizes exhibitions, conferences and observations of the sky, and also planetarium sessions.


If you wish to visit it, the Palais Longchamp is located at the top of the Boulevard Longchamp, just a few minutes away from the New Hotel Saint Charles close to the train station.


Practical Information:

Palais Longchamp - Marseille
Boulevard Philippon 
13004 Marseille

Phone: +33 4 91 55 25 51

Observatory of Marseille
Boulevard Cassini
13004 Marseille

Phone: +33 4 13 55 21 55