Old Town, Marseilles
Marseille - Musée du Vieux
The Musée du Vieux Marseille, which contains the history of the town, Provençal furniture and costumes and utensils of the 17th-19th C., is housed in the Maison Diamantée to the north of the Old Harbor. The house is so named because of the diamond-shaped stone blocks of which it is built; it is a good example of bourgeois architecture of the end of the 16th C.
Musée des Docks Romains
In the Place Vivaux in Marseilles stands the Musée des Docks Romains (Musée du Commerce Antique). It is the only museum in Provence to be erected right above the excavations; on view is one of the few remaining Roman trading places.
Near Fort St-Jean in Marseilles stands the Romanesque Church of St-Laurent which was severely damaged in the Second World War. The side chapels date from the 15th and 16th centuries and the octagonal tower from the 18th C.
Cathédrale de la Major
On a terrace in the northwest of Old Town Marseilles, above the new port installations, stands the mighty Cathédrale de la Major, with two domed towers and a 16m/53ft high dome over the crossing. It was built between 1852 and 1893 in a mixture of Romanesque and Byzantine styles of alternate courses of white and green limestone. With a length of 141m/463ft it is the most spacious ecclesiastical building of the 19th C. The interior is richly decorated with marble and mosaic; in the crypt can be seen the tombs of the Bishops of Marseilles.
Near the Cathédrale de la Major in Marseilles, the Church of St Lazare, the old cathedral (fourth-12th C), almost disappears. Here in the Chapel of St-Severinus is a reliquary altar; another (of St-Lazarus) is in the left- hand aisle. In the chapel on the left of the fine apse is a Romanesque reliquary of 1122 and an Emtombment of the school of della Robbia.
Vieille Charité in Marseilles is a hospice for the poor, built between 1671 and 1749 to plans by Jean and Pierre Puget (the latter is little known as an architect). This masterpiece of French hospital architecture of the end of the 17th C, with its chapel designed by Pierre Puget, is now a scientific and cultural center.
Address: 2 rue de la Charité, F-13002 Marseille, France
Opening hours: Jun 1 to Sep 30: 11am-6pm; Closed: Mon
Oct 1 to May 31: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Oct 1 to May 31: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), 1945 Victory Day (May 8), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Bastille Day - France (Jul 14), Assumption Day - Christian (Aug 15), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), Remembrance Day / 1918 Armistice Day (Nov 11), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Pentecost Monday (Whit Monday) - Christian, Ascension Thursday - Christian
Entrance fee: FREE
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Quartier du Panier
Quartier du Panier is one of the oldest districts in Marseilles. The Panier is where the ancient Phocaeans first settled, it also served as a public square for assemblies and markets for the ancient city.It is noted for the narrow streets and colourful houses overlooking the Old Port that give visitors a glimpse of the heart of Marseilles.
Musée d'Archéologie Méditerranée
The Musée d'Archéologie Méditerranée, formerly in Borély Castle, is now housed within the Vieille Charité in Marseilles. It has a notable Egyptian department and pottery, bronzes and glass dating from Etruscan, Greek and Roman times. Also on display are drawings and paintings by a number of masters (Fragonard, Ingres, Boucher) and a collection of regional archeology.
In the cour des Accoules, with a 19th C Calvary chapel, overlooked by the Clocher des Accoules (bell-tower), are the remains of one of the oldest churches in Marseilles.In the immediate vicinity in Place Daviel stands the Hôtel-Dieu, which is reputed to have been founded towards the end of the 12th C. The plans for the construction of the new building were largely the work of the architects Portal and Mansart. In the front courtyard is a monument to the designer Honoré Daumier of Marseilles, with a bronze by A. Bourdelle. Also in the Place Daviel is the fine Palais de Justice (old lawcourts; 1743-1747).
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