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Marseille History Museum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marseille History Museum
Le musée d'Histoire de Marseille (14202005372).jpg
Location within Marseille
Marseille History Museum (France)
Location2, rue Henri-Barbusse 13001 Marseille
Coordinates43°17′52.0″N 5°22′32.0″E / 43.297778°N 5.375556°E / 43.297778; 5.375556
TypeHistory museum

The Marseille History Museum (French: Musée d'Histoire de Marseille) is the local historical and archaeological museum of Marseille in France. It was opened in 1983, the first town historical museum in France, to display the major archaeological finds discovered when the site was excavated in 1967 for commercial redevelopment and the construction of the Centre de la Bourse shopping centre. The museum building, which is entered from within the centre, opens onto the "jardin des vestiges", a garden containing the stabilised archaeological remains of classical ramparts, port buildings, a necropolis and so on.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ South of France Video Tour: Marseille, Part 1
  • ✪ Marseille, France
  • ✪ French Foreign Legion. The historical museum in Aubagne. 2013


Hi I am David Hill with New York Habitat. Today we kick off the first episode on our two-part video tour of the mystic port city of Marseille, the 2nd largest city in France. Marseille is located on the Mediterranean coast in the South of France. It has a Mediterranean climate with mild, humid winters and warm to hot, mostly dry summers. Marseille has a vast public transport system involving trams, metro and buses all under a single ticketing system. So it's quite easy to get around. If you're looking to get some exercise in, there's also an excellent automated bike rental system. We'll start our tour in the area called "Vieux Port", or "Old Port" in English. This is probably the top destination in Marseille for tourists. It is often said that this is "where civilization began", as this is where the Greeks set up in 600 BC. As of 2013, the city has transformed the Vieux Port into mainly a pedestrian area. If you like museums, you'll love Marseille. Today we'll be visiting a few of them. On the north side of the port, you'll find the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations. It's goal is to compare all aspects of the cultures of the Mediterranean. Being a port city, Marseille has a whole museum dedicated to sea trade. The Marine and Economy Museum is quite a gem. Marseille town hall is a graceful example of 17th century architecture. The spot has been a meeting place of the city council since the Middle Ages. At the mouth of the Vieux Port you'll find two forts - St Nicolas fort and St Jean fort. Head to St Nicolas fort for some great views of the port. While you won't be able to stay in a fort in Marseille, the next best thing is to stay in a Marseille apartment. Booking a furnished apartment or vacation rental from New York Habitat is the best way to experience this amazing city. Along the Vieux Port you'll find the La Criée, the national theatre of Marseille. Here you can catch French renditions of Shakespeare plays and other classics. Another great destination near the port is the Abbey of Saint Victor. Founded in the 5th century, it has a long history of being a place of worship, being ransacked, and being restored. The Catholic basilica, Notre Dame de la Garde, is another must-see church in Marseille. Located at the highest natural point in the city, it was consecrated in 1864. If you love neighborhoods with a maze of winding narrow streets like I do, then you will want to visit the area in Marseille known as Le Panier. You'll find tons of small boutique shops and charming cafés in this chic bohemian neighbourhood. Situated in the heart of Le Panier is the Vielle Charité. It was originally built to house the poor and is currently a museum and cultural center. Construction was started in 1671 and was not completed until 1749. Heading back down towards the sea you'll come to the Cathedral Sainte Marie Majeure de Marseille, or as the locals call it, The Major. The current version of this cathedral was built from 1852 to 1896 on the site used for the cathedrals of Marseille since the fifteenth century. Well, we've come to the end of the first episode of our two-part series on Marseille. There will be more to come in the future video. In the meantime, if you know of any hot spots you'd like to share with us, make sure you leave a comment in the comment section below. And don't forget to visit our website at, where you'll find many furnished apartments and vacation rentals available in Marseille and throughout the South of France. I'm David Hill with New York Habitat. We hope to see you soon strolling the docks of Marseille!


Roman wreck Jules-Verne 4. The wreck is of a 15 m long dredger
Roman wreck Jules-Verne 4. The wreck is of a 15 m long dredger

The museum presently contains permanent displays exhibiting the history of Marseille up to the 18th century. Highlights include:

  • some of the finds from the site itself, including, most famously, the hull of a ship of the 2nd century (claimed to be the best preserved of a vessel of this period in the world);
  • the prehistory of the region round the later city, the Ligures and the Phocaeans, and the development through the Ancient Greek and Roman periods of the port of Massilia;
  • early Christianity (4th-6th centuries);
  • medieval potters' workshops and the first French manufactory of faience (13th century);
  • the redevelopment of the city under Louis XIV and the construction of the forts Saint-Jean and Saint-Nicolas);
  • the architecture and building works of the architect, sculptor and painter Pierre Puget;
  • the great plague of 1720.

Further building works are planned which when completed will make possible permanent exhibitions of Marseille's history in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The museum also includes a library, documentation center, and video collection.


This page was last edited on 15 August 2020, at 17:25
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