Marseille : France oldest city


Marseille is a city that won’t leave you indifferent as everyone agrees to its singularity.

The truth is Marseille has character and the richness of its history proves it.

A mixed heritage

Founded in 600 BC Marseille is the oldest city of France.

The legend says that a group of greek sailors who left Phocea (actual Turkey), arrived in Marseille the same day when the king of the Segobriges ( local ligurian tribe) decided to marry his daughter.
The greeks, whose intentions were peacefull, were invited to the banquet.
Protis the king’s daughter decided to give her nuptial cup to Gyptis the greek captain.
As a wedding gift the king Nannos gave the couple a piece of his land: Massalia was born.

Marseille quickly became a powerful state city thanks to its economic development and the growth of its population.
The commercial trade with the mediterranean contributed to the wealth of the city.
Olive oil, wine and ceramic tableware were imported from Greece and the port concentrated all the maritime and trading activities.

In the beggining, the greek settlement was peaceful but after one generation, tensions and conflicts between the Marseillais and their neighbours started.
The Marseillais had to fight  back and gained a reputation of  being brave and combative.

Ally of Rome, strongly independant and hostile to central powers, Marseille kept until today its singularity and rebelious nature which gave the Marseillais a strong sens of identity and a tradition of welcoming immigrants.

The vestiges garden of the Museum of history of Marseille

At the archeological site of the Bourse, you can visit the vestiges of the ancient port.
The acces to this calm and beautiful garden is from the Museum of history of Marseille.

Museum of history of Marseille
Metro vieux port
2 rue Henri Barbusse 13001 Marseille
Also accessible from the Bourse Shopping center
Disabled access

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