Marseille, between modernism and authenticity

23 juillet 2016

Halfway between urbanity and countryside, Marseilles attracts many tourists for different reasons. The oldest city of France, which was founded by the Greek civilization, has kept its authenticity while developing a modern twist. The city is known for the electivity of its landscapes, cultures and inhabitants and thus offers different atmospheres throughout its neighborhoods. We can begin the tour with the famous Old Port and its historical fish market. If you walk along the Corniche – a 5km long promenade overlooking the sea and hosting the longest bench in the world – you will end up at the Pointe Rouge and then at the Goudes, famous for their breathtaking sea sights. The most impressive landscapes are the Calanques, combining turquoise water and lush vegetation. With 100 km² of protected nature, Marseilles hosts in his heart several green parks such as the Borély Park, the Longchamp Park and the garden of Magalona.

Marseilles: the perfect mix between culture and history...

With Greek and Roman origins, Marseilles has kept the authenticity of its heritage with some buildings dating from the 16th century. The city hosts many palaces, among them the Palais Longchamp, the Palais du Pharo, or the Palais de la Bourse which now houses the Economy and Navy Museum. Built at the end of the 19th century in a Byzantine-Roman style, the Major Cathedral connects the new and modern neighborhood of La Joliette with Marseilles’ oldest district, Le Panier, where the Greek city of Massalia was founded in 600 BC. The Fort Saint-Jean, former fortification built under Louis the XIVth, hosts exhibitions, historical trails and botanical gardens overlooking the sea. The tower of King René is dedicated to the history of the site whereas the building Georges Henri Rivière is reserved for temporary exhibitions. Nestling at the entrance of the Cour de la Commande, the chapel of the Order of Malta showcases contemporary artworks and installations. Recently, the Fort Saint-Jean has become one of the point of access to the MuCEM.

The oldest French city facing the future

Suspended between sky and sea, floating at the entrance to the Old Port, the MuCEM is unique as it is the only museum dedicated to the cultures of the Mediterranean. The architecture is one of a kind, both original and futuristic and emphasizes the three elements of Marseilles: stone, water and wind. The J4 complex hosts exhibitions on two levels: level 0 features semi-permanent exhibitions of ancient artworks, objects and sculptures from different Mediterranean civilizations. Meanwhile, on the level 2, temporary exhibitions immerse the visitor into more modern subjects. This summer, the exhibition is dedicated to Picasso A genius without a pedestal through August 29. As the widest city of France, Marseilles features artworks pretty much everywhere, espically street art exposed on the walls of the Flea Market and of the Dock Village. Various mediums are used: paint on canvas, wood, spray paint, etc. This represents an excellent opportunity to discover young and talented contemporary artists. For the 7th art lovers, Marseilles proposes each summer the FIDMarseille, International Film Festival with outdoor screenings. The festival will take place from July 12 to July 18.

marseille GALLERY

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