France - September 2014

Marseille (1)

Photos by Walt & Gloria Fogler-Mancini


Marseille is France’s oldest city, largest port and second largest city.  It was designated the European Capital of Culture in 2013 and has been changing, leaving its poor reputation behind.  Much of its population came from Italy and many immigrants call it home.  Despite its size and diversity, it has a small town feel with a sunny Mediterranean climate.  Over its 2600 year history, it has had many ups and downs and developed a reputation for rebelling against central governments.

The Phoenicians first used the sheltered harbor that has become the Vieux Port. The city was developed by the Greeks who ceded control to the Romans.  Now the old port is no longer commercial and is devoted to recreational activities.

The Ombrière is a new, mirrored pavilion that is the center of many activities.

Fort St-Jean is at the north side of the entrance to the  old port.  It is linked to the new MuCEM by an elevated pedestrian bridge.  An art space has developed there with museums and other activities. 

The cathedral, Notre-Dame-de-la-Major, is nearby.

Laid out around the Vieux Port, many buildings in typical 18-19 century French styles have survived.  Among others below are its opera house, the old hospital, the Hotel Dieu (which is now a hotel), and  city hall (below).

The oldest part of the city, the Quartier du Panier, is on the left side of the port.  It has many steep narrow streets with small squares.  It was the original melting pot for peoples from around the world.

The Vieille Charité is a restored masterpiece in the Panier.  It was founded by royal decree in 1640 as a shelter for the poor and beggars.  It now houses one of the oldest museums in France, the Musée d’Archéologie Méditerranéenne. 

An art display from the Ballet Natiomal de Marseille is in the chapel.

The photographs were taken with Leicas, the M9 and M v240.  All images are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission.  We can be contacted at   Our home page is

January 27, 2015                                                                                                                      wgfm

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