Marseille still has a bit of a bad reputation and I never hear anyone saying they’re visiting the city as their main destination for a holiday. Note I’m using the French spelling of the city, as there’s an ‘s’ added to the end of the word in English. Marseille is the second largest city in France and sits on a gorgeous port. It’s one of those harbours that gives you goose bumps when you realise its history stretches back to the Phoenicians in 600BC plus it’s rather stunning.
Marseille had a magic wand swept over it in 2013 when it was designated a European Capital of Culture. One of the new additions to Marseille is the MuCEM (Museum of Mediterranean and European Civilisations), designed by Rudy Ricciotti in conjunction with Roland Carta, with the lovely lace like walls. Unfortunately I visited on a Tuesday. That was a rather big mistake as it is closed each week on that day. I do find it rather difficult to believe that it shuts up shop mid – week but it’s one of those things that you need to love about France – or get used to at least. On the plus side you can still walk around and admire the magnificent facade. The Villa Méditeranée adjacent to the MuCEM was designed by Boeri Studio and the whole space looks fantastic nestled on the port, juxtaposed with wide open spaces.
The old port was particularly fragrant – brimming with sea, salt and fish. I took the tourist train from the port that whisked coast side up to Notre Dame de la Garde with its sweeping views of the city. The seaside Corniche area was dotted with locals sunning themselves on rocks. Next time I’ll be going back to see Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse, built between 1947 and 1951, an experiment on habitation with 337 appartments. I’ll also head for the MuCEM again but just not on a Tuesday.
Here are a few photos of the all too fleeting visit to the city. Enjoy. Let me know if you’ve been to Marseille and what you liked about the city.
Notes : All images by Megan In Sainte Maxime : Collage : Notre Dame, Villa Méditerranée, MuCEM, Cathedrale de la Major : Other photos : Harbour, Notre Dame, Villa Méditerranée, Harbour