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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   France   >   Towns and Cities   >   Marseille



Located on the Mediterranean coast, Marseille (sometimes spelled "Marseilles" in English) is France's largest commercial port, second most populous city (after Paris), and center of the country's third most populous metropolitan area (after Paris and Lyon). The city has an estimated population of 820,900 (as of 2005), and the metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1,605,000 (as of 2007).


Key Facts about Marseille

Here are some facts about Marseille:
  1. Marseille (sometimes spelled "Marseilles" in English) is a city on Mediterranean coast of France.

  2. Marseille is the second most populous city of France (after Paris), and center of the country's third most populous metropolitan area (after Paris and Lyon).

  3. Marseille has an estimated population of 820,900 (as of 2005), and the metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1,605,000 (as of 2007).

  4. Marseille is France's largest commercial port.

  5. Marseille may possibly be the oldest city in France. It is believed to have been founded either by the Phoenicians, or possibly by the Greeks at around 600 BCE. In ancient times, Marseille was known as Masalia, Massalia or Massilia (Greek: Μασσαλια).

  6. People from Marseille are called Marseillais in French, or Marselhés in Occitan.

  7. A number of famous French recipes originate from Marseille. These include:

    • Bouillabaisse - A stew/broth made from at least three varieties of fish (in the traditional version, the broth is served separately from the fish).

    • Fougasse - A type of flatbread, traditionally baked in a wood-fired oven. It is sometimes filled with anchovies, cheese, or olives.

    • Navette de Marseille - A type of biscuit flavored with orange blossom and made in the shape of a boat.

    • Panisse - A type of pastry made using chickpea flour.

    • Pastis - An alcoholic beverage made using aniseed and spices.

  8. The most commonly used type of tarot card deck is known as "Tarot de Marseille".

  9. Marseille was designated European Capital of Culture for 2013.

Weather in Marseille

Marseille has a Mediterranean climate with mild and humid Winters, and relatively hot and dry Summers.

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Books about Marseille

Here are some books about Marseille:

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By David Crackanthorpe

Signal Books Ltd
Paperback (224 pages)

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  • Signal Books Ltd
Product Description:
The reality of Marseille, with its secret life and scarred beauty, has little in common with its sulphurous reputation. Its inhabitants, who like to keep themselves and their city's true character to themselves, prefer it that way. A taste for independence has been part of the city's nature and history from the beginnings 2,600 years ago; since then it has only been part of France for the past 600, and for much of that time unwillingly. Ringed on three sides by steep hills and by the sea on the fourth, Marseille resembles an island, and soon gives to incoming migrants a Marseillais identity, separating them both from their multiple origins and from the French of the surrounding mainland. Founded as a Greek trading station, the city has traded always, favouring the transit of goods by sea and land over industrialisation; as a result the twentieth-century recession of sea traffic and partial closure of the docks can make Marseille appear neglected, dishevelled, and under-employed as a great port and historical centre. The appearance is deceptive; Marseille is a ceaselessly changing and culturally ever-creative fusion of peoples--rich and poor, black, brown and white, a population, according to the novelist Blaise Cendrars, that remains 'insolent, happy to be alive, and more independent than ever'. The Vieux-Port into which the first Greek settlers rowed their fifty-oared ships is still the vital centre of the city and even if less vibrantly active than in the days of sail, it is here that the sense of the living Marseille can be grasped. Moreover, the Euromediterranee project and the naming of Marseille as cultural capital of Europe in 2013 have together brought in massive capital transfusions to a process of urban rehabilitation which is continuing. David Crackanthorpe explores the striking architecture of Marseille's monuments, the remains of Greek and Roman docks and wall, the islands of the gulf and the magnificent coast, the city's distinctive language, food and popular culture. With all the disfigurements it has suffered, Marseille remains one of the world's most unique cities and its site among the most splendid.

Fodor's Provence & the French Riviera (Full-color Travel Guide)

By Fodor's Travel Guides

Released: 2016-11-15
Paperback (416 pages)

Fodor s Provence & the French Riviera (Full-color Travel Guide)
List Price: $19.99*
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  • Fodor s Travel Publications
Product Description:
Written by locals, Fodor's travel guides have been offering expert advice for all tastes and budgets for 80 years.

The darlings of French tourism, Provence and the French Riviera have always been beautiful destinations attracting everyone from the rich and famous to world-renowned artists. With unbelievable coasts and rustic-chic villages, the regions draw travelers eager to experience their azure skies and legendary landscapes. This full color-guide highlights the best of this region, from the urban buzz of Marseilles and Nice to the glamorous meccas of St-Tropez, Cannes, and Monaco.

This travel guide includes:

· Dozens of full-color maps 

· Hundreds of hotel and restaurant recommendations, with Fodor's Choice designating our top picks

· Multiple itineraries to explore the top attractions and what’s off the beaten path

· In-depth breakout features on Provence's Lavender Route, the region's artistic legacy, and the area's outstanding cuisine

· Major sights such as Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Avignon, the Calanques, the Camargue, the Lavender Route, Marseille, Pont du Gard, St-Paul-de-Vence, St-Remy-de-Provence, St. Tropez

· Coverage of The Alpilles, Arles and the Camargue; The Vaucluse; Aix, Marseille, and the Central Coast; The Western Cote D'Azur; Nice and the Eastern Cote D'Azur; Monaco

Planning to visit more of France or focus on Paris? Check out Fodor's travel guides to France and Paris.

Marseille (Travel Guide)

By Top Deals Hotel

Released: 2013-04-09
Kindle Edition (206 pages)

Marseille (Travel Guide)
Product Description:
Marseille is the star of European culture in 2013, being elected the European Capital of Culture. Marseille is the place where guests will be greeted with a wide range of special cultural events and hundreds of stories about the past of one of the largest ports in Europe. Because the whole region of Provence is truly impressive, Marseille's cultural status is reflected on all major cities in Provence.
Being the second largest city in France, Marseille has a lot to give to those who decide to visit. The city fascinates with the diversity of cultures and an incredible history that charms everyone who briefly stops to listen. Marseille knows how to tell a story, so you just need to learn how to listen.
To help you find its mysteries, the Top Deals Hotel team made a comprehensive guide of the city, in which you will find all the details you need for a pleasant stay that will make you enjoy good memories and new knowledge.
Learn what's new this year by reading the chapter dedicated to Marseille-Provence 2013 events. You will find which new museums will be open this year, what interesting exhibitions are worth your visit and what events are taking place both in Marseille and Provence region.
Marseille is an amazing city regardless of the period you decide to visit, but 2013 will be truly spectacular.


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