1st port and capital of the french Mediterranean, Marseille is a magnificent city between the Camargue, the Alps and the french Riviera
The very ancient past of the city of 111 villages begins in greek times, it is finally this people who left the ancient name of Massalia today Marseille. A former autonomous republic, the city has always maintained its own philosophy mainly oriented towards the sea. Marseille has always been a heterogeneous city, cultivating links with the mediterranean region. We will visit the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde a 19th century neobyzantine church, a pilgrimage of the people of Marseilles, nicknamed the Good Mother. The panorama is exceptional on the city and on a castle called château d’If of the famous count of Monte Christo.
Then we will walk along the Old Port to discover the roman dock museum and the alleys of the Panier district. It is the oldest district of the city which is characterized by its authentic charm thank to its colourful faces, flowery streets and craftsmen selling local products. We will finish the visit of the district by the old charity. Built of pink and white stones, it surprises with its coherent and sumptuous architecture. For more than a century, the old charity sheltered the city‘s poorest and most destitute people and then it became a hospice for children and the elderly.
We will then visit the cathedral Notre Dame de la Major, which has one of the highest domes in the world. As the only cathedral in France built in the 19th century (1852-1893), it represents an immense power visible from the sea. Combining roman and oriental styles, it is a real treasure with byzantine arcades, white marble and magnificent mosaics inside. A cultural door that opens to the oriental world.
Finally, we will end our day with a visit of the Fort St Jean and its towers which guard the entrance to the port of the city. The panorama of the port is magnificent. In the 12th century, Fort St Jean was the starting point for crusades to the Holy Land. Today, as a part of the MuCEM (Musée des civilisations de l‘Europe et de la Méditérannée ) Fort St Jean attracts many visitors from Marseille every year thanks to its exceptional view of the Marseille port.