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Travel from Massalia to Marseille

Updated on November 27, 2012

Marseille, Jewel of the Mediterranean Sea

Founded as Massalia, today known as Marseille. This is the city where the past and the present are perfectly entwined, where different cultures coexist harmoniously. Beautiful and ugly at the same time, dangerous but gentle. The city lies in the bay eastward from the mouth of river Rhone for more then 2000 years, where it developed without a special urban plan. This port town was founded as Greek colony and was established for commercial reasons in the first place. Nevertheless, Marseille soon controlled the sea routes leading to the west. Around the year 100 B.C. With the arrival of the Romans, the city referred to as Massilia.

marseille gates to the orient
marseille gates to the orient

The Gates of the Orient

Throughout its history Marseille has been an important trade centre and a lure for the settlers. The entire Mediterranean region represents a conglomerate of nations, languages, cultures and religions. Marseille is also known for its ethnic diversity and it's often called The Gates of the Orient. Although France has the access to the Atlantic, the southern coast played a more significant role in relation to great geographical discoveries and trade, especially after the construction of the Suez canal and the french engagement in the northern Africa in the 19th century. The port complex of Marseille is today one of the biggest transition ports in Europe.

Melting pot

Mediterranean people always belonged more to its city then to its nation. I think this is perfect sentence to describe residents of Marseille. Knowing that city is made of people they live in and not the walls its made from, people often think of them selves as Marseilliean and not French. Being in this city is so different then to visit any other city in France, no doubt. Thanks to geographical position, Marseille was and is the point of arrivals and departures for strangers and foreigners so the diversity in this city is often explained as "as the whole world within a city".

Melting Pot Photo Gallery

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Open market on Saturday morningClassic facade of the cityOne of many interesting mural's in the cityShop in the markets area.One of a many ethnic restaurant.
Open market on Saturday morning
Open market on Saturday morning
Classic facade of the city
Classic facade of the city
One of many interesting mural's in the city
One of many interesting mural's in the city
Shop in the markets area.
Shop in the markets area.
One of a many ethnic restaurant.
One of a many ethnic restaurant.
LE Panier
LE Panier

Le Panier

I live in 3000 years old city and I walk by Roman architecture remains every day, but walking on the streets of Marseille gave me the feeling as I am part of the history from a different angle. The perfect coalition of old and new is interesting. Le Panier is the oldest part of the city but during the II world war it suffered huge damage when the nacizs used the dynamite to clean the city from the unwanted ones...when the war finished, archeologists found the Roman warehouse and they turned it into museum. Above the museum there is a modern shopping center.

Maghrebi Market
Maghrebi Market

Maghrebi Market

I prefer to experience the diversity trough food so the perfect place that will mesmerize your senses is an open market in part Maghrebi. From exotic fruits to African fabric. I'm sure 2000 years ago, open markets looked the same. Past is often wiped out by the present and remains only in books but here it is like everything is just upgraded so you actually do a walk trough time.

Marseille Port

Marseille Port
Marseille Port

Other - Urban side of Marseille - City is People not just buildings

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Entering MarseilleThe Best Bar on the Course JulienOld Vespa in front of the old Wine storeMarseille StreetThe Stade Vélodrome  - photo taken from Wikipedia ( creative commons rights )is a football stadium in Marseille. It is home to the Olympique de Marseille soccer ( football ) club. It is the largest club owned stadium in France, with a capacity of 6
Entering Marseille
Entering Marseille
The Best Bar on the Course Julien
The Best Bar on the Course Julien
Old Vespa in front of the old Wine store
Old Vespa in front of the old Wine store
Marseille Street
Marseille Street
The Stade Vélodrome  - photo taken from Wikipedia ( creative commons rights )is a football stadium in Marseille. It is home to the Olympique de Marseille soccer ( football ) club. It is the largest club owned stadium in France, with a capacity of 6
The Stade Vélodrome - photo taken from Wikipedia ( creative commons rights ) is a football stadium in Marseille. It is home to the Olympique de Marseille soccer ( football ) club. It is the largest club owned stadium in France, with a capacity of 6
Marseille bay
Marseille bay

Falling in love...

I was in Marseille when I was in my early 20-ties. And I fell in love. Mixture of people with their culture and customs are overwhelming. You can experience whole Europe from the North to the south and beyond to the Africa, all incorporated with a great people from middle east, Orient to the far east like India or China.

They are all different, but mixed together into a harmonious "Maresille-anian" multicultural society.

Second time I was with my wife, couple of years ago. Now she is also in love with the city.

There is no other choice for us, we will start packing our-self's for the third time. Join us!

Have You Ever Been to Marseille? - If not, do you want to go after reading this article?

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    • profile image

      ScarlettScarf 5 years ago

      Great lens. I hope I'll get to go to Marseille one day. Loved the pictures and quiz!

    • Millionairemomma profile image

      Millionairemomma 5 years ago

      I really enjoyed this lens because I love going to France. I liked Paris too.

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      I was in Marseille about 40 years ago. Wonder how much it's changed.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      I have never been to Marseille but hope to one day!

    • profile image

      Lindrus 5 years ago

      Thanks for an interesting lens and for a fun quiz! (though I didn't do so well on it...)

    • PBJasen profile image
      Author

      PBJasen 5 years ago

      Thank you all for such a nice comments.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      didnt do so well on the test

    • aksem profile image

      aksem 5 years ago

      I was there long ago and dream to go there again

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      Thanks for the trip to Marseille....loved all the photos.

    • terracroatia profile image

      terracroatia 5 years ago

      Great lens! I've never been to Marseille but would like to visit once.

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      Nope, I have not been there, but it would be on my bucket list.. when I get around to making it.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I haven't, but i love your book recommendation. The Count of Monte Cristo has long been my favorite book, and makes me want to visit all the more. A very well done lens.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 5 years ago

      No I haven't been there, but would love to see it.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Very good information! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      bdkz 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens!