Posts Tagged ‘Marseille’

If you would like a preview of MuCEM’s summer show, ‘Ai Weiwei Fan-Tan’, head off down there on Tuesday 19th June when there is free entry 16-23:00hrs.

Plus…. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The F1 mini-roadshows in 8 villages in Provence have been a great success with crowds of people turning out to see these events organised by Renault.  Now finally we have the date for the roadshow in MarseilleFriday 22nd June, the evening before the F1 weekend at the Paul Ricard circuit. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The first treat is the resumption of the ‘Navette Maritime’ service in Marseille.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

…..is my new book which is being launched this week. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Marseille is the oldest town in France, so when you walk along by the Vieux Port, you are following in the footsteps of Greek fishermen, shopkeepers, sailors and traders who established their colony in 600 BC.  They, and the Romans who arrived later, have left traces that emerge so often when new building takes place.

Take for instance the shopping mall at the Bourse, in the centre of town.

Greek and Roman remains in the middle of France’s second city

Excavations for the building in 1967 revealed the foundations of the original Greek port,  burial sites, remains of warehouses…all of which can now be seen in a spacious garden beside the shops.

The Musée d’ Histoire de Marseille was established alongside during this time, but was renovated and updated in time for the 2013 Year of Culture.  It is now one of Europe’s largest history museums and really worth a visit.

In fact there is almost too much to take in, as it walks us through 26 centuries of urban development.

Discovered during the building of the Bourse shopping centre, this 2nd century boat sank in 3m of water.

Highlights include the remains of the biggest ancient boat on show in the world.  It would have carried 100 tonnes of merchandise.

There are lots of statues, tableware, jewellery, household items, mainly from Roman times, before we get to the section on Marseille in the Middle Ages.  Different stages of development are illustrated by large models of the town and port.

Unlike some local museums, this one has tried hard to engage younger visitors with an interactive game or info-point for kids at the beginning of each section – bravo!  Explanatory panels are in English too.

On we go, through the Revolution and a section devoted to the rapidly industrialising Marseille: posters and paintings show the importance of the port, the soap industry, metallurgy and chemicals. 

There is so much to discover in this museum which couldn’t be more central.  After visiting, you simply go through the connecting corridor back into the Bourse shopping centre which continues the commercial activities started by the Greeks 2,600 years ago.


We were very surprised how few other visitors there were in the museum.  Maybe ten at the time of our visit. So my friend who is very active in various local associations asked if she could organise a group visit through the museum.  No was the answer – they only have guides for school parties.  Were there any reproductions of the posters for sale?   Was there a catalogue?  No and no again.

Surely some marketing focus could be brought to bear here; and I’m thinking of the numerous visitors coming in on cruise ships who are in town for a short space of time.  Most will want to stroll round town, but on very windy days like today, or when it’s hot or wet, it would make an ideal place to explore.

The ‘Journal de visite’ which is given at the beginning is an excellent 24pp news-sheet, in French.  English version here and good to skim before visiting: journal_musee_dhistoire-anglais

The museum is open daily exc. Monday, 10:00-18:00hrs. If you haven’t, do visit!







Read Full Post »

Did you know that Marseille has France’s oldest quincaillerie, or hardware shop?

It really is a must-visit if you are interested in traditional Provencal life.  Take the magnificent big hand-graters for instance – just the sort of gadget used in café kitchens many years ago for churning out carrots and cabbage for salads.  Then there are traditional crepe pans for sale, as well as Provencal jugs for the table.

See the original fittings in France’s oldest quincaillerie


Read Full Post »

This month’s ‘Dimanches de la Canebiere’ on Sunday 25th February will be dedicated to celebrating the Year of the Dog: there will be a ‘Dance of the Dragon and Lion’ as well as martial arts.

It’s the 10th such event, when Marseille’s famous thoroughfare La Canebiere is pedestrianized and dedicated to entertainment, street food and market stalls.  Each month there is a special theme, usually involving music and dancing with lots of community participation.  Organised by the local mairie, 1st and 7th quartiers, it’s going from strength to strength, with more shops specially open and visitors pouring in – all part of reanimating centre-ville, struggling somewhat with commercial competition from La Joliette. Programme on: http://marseille1-7.fr/canebiere/

Maybe combine this with the 2 newly-opened Picasso exhibitions? https://aixcentric.com/2018/02/13/plenty-of-picasso-in-provence-right-now/





Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »