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Marseille coat of arms
Marseille (France)
region Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
Department Bouches-du-Rhône
Arrondissement Marseille
Canton Marseille-1
Community association Métropole d'Aix-Marseille-Provence
Coordinates 43 ° 18 '  N , 5 ° 23'  E Coordinates: 43 ° 18 '  N , 5 ° 23'  E
height 0-640 m
surface 240.62 km 2
Residents 863,310 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 3,588 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 13001–13016
(The last two digits stand for the number of the urban arrondissement)
INSEE code

Marseille [ maʁsɛj ] (German deprecated: Massilien , Occitan : Marselha or Marsiho [ maʀse.jɔ ]) is a French city with 863,310 inhabitants (1 January 2017) and the capital of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and the region Provence- Alpes-Cote d'Azur . It is the most important French and an important European port city on the Golfe du Lion , a Mediterranean bay .

Marseille is the second largest city in France after Paris . According to the Eurostat definition, the metropolitan region has around 3.05 million inhabitants (2015). The inhabitants call themselves Marseillais [ maʁ.sɛ.ˈjɛ ].

In 2013, Marseille was European Capital of Culture together with the Slovak city ​​of Košice .


Marseille is between 0 and 652  m ( 12  m at the official center of Noailles) high. The 240 km² urban area (more than twice the size of Paris ) includes not only the built-up area but also wide natural areas, especially mountains. The city is bordered to the west by the Mediterranean Sea, to the north by the Chaîne de l'Estaque and Chaîne de l'Etoile (with the summit of l'Etoile as the highest point of the city), to the east by the Garlaban massif, to the southeast from the Saint-Cyr massif and to the south from the massif des Calanques .

Due to its location, Marseille has a Mediterranean climate that is very sunny and poor in rain. The reason for this is also the often strong winds, especially the mistral , which is why the climate can sometimes be rough despite the southern location.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Marseille
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 10.7 12.1 14.7 17.8 21.9 25.8 29.0 28.4 25.2 20.5 14.6 11.2 O 19.4
Min. Temperature (° C) 2.7 3.8 5.7 8.6 12.2 15.9 18.5 18.0 15.4 11.6 6.8 3.4 O 10.2
Precipitation ( mm ) 47.2 54.0 43.7 47.9 42.3 27.8 13.7 29.3 46.7 77.6 58.4 55.8 Σ 544.4
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 4.8 5.5 6.9 8.2 9.4 10.9 11.8 10.6 8.5 6.6 5.2 4.6 O 7.8
Rainy days ( d ) 6th 6th 6th 5 5 4th 2 3 4th 6th 5 6th Σ 58
Water temperature (° C) 13 13 13 13 15th 18th 22nd 21st 20th 19th 16 14th O 16.4
Humidity ( % ) 75 72 67 65 64 63 59 62 69 74 75 77 O 68.5
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Legend of the city's foundation

According to ancient legend, the city was created when Greek seafarers explored the Mediterranean coast. They landed on the day on the coast of what is now Marseille when a Celtic king named Nann was looking for a husband for his daughter Gyptis. Gyptis was to offer a goblet from among all the assembled young men to whom she wished to marry. Surprisingly, it was Protis, the leader of the newcomers, to whom she handed the jar. The two married, and the Greeks and Celts founded the settlement of Massalia together .

Ancient Greek trading post

Marseille in 1575

Greek sea traders from Phocea in Asia Minor visited in the 7th century BC Regularly used the south coast of France near the mouth of the Rhone to trade with the Ligurian tribes. Tin , as a component of bronze, was particularly popular with the Greeks. In return, fine pottery and jewelry found their way into the homes of local princes. Protected landing sites were rare on the rugged and rocky coast, so one headed for the natural harbor of today's Marseille, where the galleys were protected from wind and waves.

Around 620–600 BC Thanks to a donation of land by the Ligurian princes, Greeks founded a permanently inhabited settlement ( Apoikie ) at this port and named it Massalia ( Greek Μασσαλία, Latin Massilia ), today's Marseille.

Greek polis

Historical map of Marseille, year 1888
Drachm from Massalia, head of Artemis, after 200 BC Minted
Back of drachma, lion and writing

The polis soon grew into one of the richest and largest Greek apoicias in the western Mediterranean, which, with its connection to the natural trade route of the Rhône, had cultural influence far into the hinterland. Proof of this influence is the use of the Greek letters by the Helvetians in Caesar's time . According to some researchers, a Greek influence could also have been preserved in some southern French dialects.

Málaga , Corsica and Nice were also settled by Greeks from Phocea , who founded one apoikie after another. Over time, Massalia became so large and important that it even sent out settlers to establish trading posts and cities in the west as far as Spain. The expansion of the Phocaeans and Massaliots was put to an end by a coalition of Etruscans and Carthaginians in the sea ​​battle at Alalia .

The late antique author Stephanos of Byzantium mentions several cities or settlements founded by Massalia in the surrounding area, which are otherwise not attested:

  • Alonis ( Ἀλωνίς )
  • Azania ( Ἀζανία )
  • Cyrene ( Κυρήνη ), possibly La Couronne near Martigues
  • Sekoanos ( Σηκοανός ), probably a river, possibly Arc or Touloubre

Around the year 545 BC According to Herodotus , immigrants from Phocea came to the city again. They had fled after Harpagos , general of King Cyrus II of Persia, had conquered Phocea.

There have been repeated conflicts with the Gaul dominant Celtic tribes . 125 BC Chr. Massilia called the troops of the Roman Empire for help against the attacks of Gallic tribes ( Ligurians , Allobrogians , salyes , Arverni and Vokontier ). In the course of the war, the entire area of ​​southern Gaul was annexed by the Romans as the province of Gallia Narbonensis . The city itself, however, initially remained an ally of Rome and was able to maintain its independence for several decades. During the years of the civil war between Julius Caesar and Gnaeus Pompeius , Massalia wanted to be neutral, but Caesar did not tolerate this. In 49 BC The city was finally conquered after six months of siege and soon afterwards integrated into the province of Narbonensis . So it remained a part of the Roman Empire until the end and gradually lost its Greek character. At the beginning of the 5th century AD, the Saint-Victor monastery was founded on the south bank of the Old Port , which was to be the residence of the bishops of Marseille from 750 to 960 . In 481 the city fell to the Visigoths , 508 to the Ostrogoths , and 536 to the Franks .

Middle Ages and Early Modern Times

In 879 the place fell to Lower Burgundy . After the Saracens destroyed it, the city was rebuilt in the 10th century and subordinated to the Viscounts de Marseille . Between 1216 and 1218, Marseille became an independent republic and finally was united with France in 1481.

It is certain that the Black Death was introduced into Western Europe via Marseille in the 14th century . In 1720 and 1721, 50,000 people died in the last great outbreak of the plague, half of the population of Marseilles. In connection with this serious epidemic, the king put a military command, a "plague police", at the side of the city council in order to deal with the situation. The city thus had a double leadership. The urban area has been divided into different areas to ensure surveillance and reduce the risk of contagion.

The people of Marseilles have always been proud and independent and known throughout the country for their willingness to rebel against the authorities and the king. In 1792 the city sent 500 volunteer fighters to support the new government during the French Revolution . The song sung in the streets of Paris by the Marseille fighters became known as the Marseillaise . On July 14, 1795, the Marseillaise was declared the French national anthem.

Modern times

Obligation of the City of Marseille of July 20, 1894, Blankette
Notre-Dame de la Garde

In the 19th century, Marseille grew to become the most important port in France, mainly because of the French colonization in Africa and Indochina. The development and importance of the port increased with the beginning of industrialization and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

On October 9, 1934, the Yugoslav King Alexander I and the French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou were killed in front of the stock exchange by an assassin from the Croatian nationalist Ustaše movement. In the interwar period , criminal networks of the Corsican mafia increasingly gained influence over local politics. The extent of corruption was evident in the fire in the Nouvelles Galeries department store on October 28, 1938, in which the city fire service failed and 73 people were killed. The mayor had to resign and the city was placed under compulsory administration by the central government. This affair also became synonymous with the moral depravity of the political elite in the final years of the Third Republic .

Announcements of January 4, 1943 by the commandant about the state of siege
Destruction of the old harbor district in 1943

After France's armed forces surrendered to the Wehrmacht in World War II , Marseille initially belonged to the Zone libre , which was under the administration of the Vichy regime . Between November 1942 and August 1944, Marseille was occupied by German troops. In January and February 1943, according to Himmler's instructions, a large part of the historic old town (Vieux Port) was blown up by troops of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS with the participation of Rolf Mühler and Günter Hellwing . 27,000 inhabitants were forcibly relocated from the old town, which the occupying power regarded as a refuge for the Resistance (Himmler had asked for 100,000 deportees). 1,640 residents of the city, including around 800 Jews, were identified as "undesirable and anti-social elements" and later deported to the Reich or to Poland.

Buildings were destroyed when the old town was blown up in 1924. Some of the perpetrators were found in the trials against Mühler u. a. as well as against Carl Oberg u. a. Accused of these war crimes, some were sentenced to death in absentia without the French judiciary being able to get hold of them: The Federal Republic did not extradite them and did not charge them itself. The war crime of destroying the old town was never atoned for.

In January 1944, Hitler named all important port cities in the west - including Marseille - as " fortresses ".

On May 27, 1944, American bombers attacked the German military facilities in Marseille. On August 28, after a week of fighting, the German occupiers capitulated to the troops of Free France .

The defenders did not fight as fanatically as required, for example, in OKW orders of February 1944 for the defense of fortresses. It was ordered to fight "to the last man" and not to surrender under any circumstances.


The old port of Marseille, 2011
Marseille (2016)

In the strong economic boom of the post-war period (trentes glorieuses) , the city continued to grow and after Algeria's independence in 1962, tens of thousands of French Algerians ( pieds-noirs ) who had to leave the country settled in Marseille. For this purpose, housing estates were built in the north of the city. Since the 1970s there have been considerable problems with the simultaneous decline of traditional industries due to structural change , uncontrolled immigration , increasing crime, pollution and growing traffic. In 1973 there was a wave of racist riots against Algerian immigrants, killing up to 100 people and causing horror among the French public. Marseille lost 10% of its population to emigration within ten years. a. to the suburbs, where the wealthier residents settled. During this time, the mayors made great efforts to cope with crime, the large number of illegal immigrants from North Africa and the decay of the city. Young people from the socially disadvantaged areas of the city founded French hip-hop in the 1980s .

The image of the city has been slowly changing since the 1990s. With the urban renewal project Euromediterrannée , large state funds have been invested in the Marseille economy. Old industrial buildings were dedicated to cultural purposes, and private investors such as the American pension fund Lone Star contributed to the urban upgrading of the boulevard Rue de la République, which was created during the Second Empire . The city is making great efforts to beautify the cityscape , but is also faced with criticism of driving the less affluent city dwellers out of the center through gentrification .


Development of the population

year 1793 1806 1831 1846 1861 1876 1891 1901
Residents 108,374 99.169 145.115 183.186 260.910 318,868 403.749 491.161
year 1921 1936 1962 1975 1990 1999 2006 2016
Residents 586,341 914.232 778.071 908,600 800,550 795.518 839.043 861.635
Sources: Cassini and INSEE

As France's “gateway to the Mediterranean”, Marseille is shaped by immigrants like no other city besides Paris . In the period around 1900 these were v. a. Italians , after the Second World War came French Algerians of European descent ( pieds-noirs , in German "black feet") as well as residents of the former French colonies in Africa. The proportion of foreigners is around 10% today, and the proportion of migrants is around 40%. If previous immigration movements are counted, 90% of the population have ancestors outside of France.

Cathédrale La Major

Religious life

In addition to Christian communities, especially the Catholic Church (Marseille is the seat of an archbishopric ), Judaism and Islam play an important role in the city. Around 30 to 40 percent of the population of Marseille are of Muslim descent, most of whom live in the poorer neighborhoods to the north of the city, the 3rd , 2nd , 1st , 13th , 14th and 15th arrondissements . One of the most important figures of Islam in France , Soheib Bencheikh , Grand Mufti of France, represents a liberal form of Islam. Recently, however, fundamentalist currents have also been gaining influence.

With around 75,000 Jews, Marseille has the most important Jewish community outside of Israel on the Mediterranean coast. Around 5,000 people pray every day in the 44 synagogues in Marseille . The largest and most important synagogue is the Great Synagogue (Grande synagogue de Marseille) , which is located in the 6th arrondissement . There are 20 Jewish study centers, 17 Jewish schools, a Bet Din and currently 48 rabbis .


Crime plays a major role, especially in the northern residential areas, which is primarily due to social problems. Marseille had been shaped by immigration from the Maghreb since the 1950s ; Due to the de-industrialization in traditional areas such as shipbuilding and heavy industry, there is high youth unemployment and poverty among immigrants, and drug trafficking often secures an income. The cohesion within and between the immigrant groups is becoming more and more fragile, so there is an increasing lack of a social structure, which favors crime. The prices for weapons are falling, robberies are often carried out with the wrong weapons. From 2007 onwards, 350 jobs in the police force were cut. The city administration now monitors the public space around the clock with around 200 video cameras (as of spring 2013) and around 40 emergency services. In the districts around the city center around the Vieux Port, there are also police units on mountain bikes, which are also very mobile in the narrow streets and on the stairs.


The city of Marseille is divided into 16 arrondissements (districts) with a total of 111 districts .

coat of arms

Blason Marseille.svg
Blazon : "In silver a common blue cross ."
The old town hall of Marseille


Mayor of Marseille since the city was liberated in 1944:

Town twinning

There are currently 14 twin cities of Marseille:

Culture and sights


Musée des Civilizations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée

The Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (French: Musée des Civilizations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée , short: MuCEM ) was opened on June 7, 2013 in the course of Marseilles as European Capital of Culture .

Musée Regards de Provence

Also as part of the European Capital of Culture, the Musée Regards de Provence was opened on March 1, 2013 in the former sanitary station in the port of Marseille. The building was designed by Fernand Pouillon in 1948 . The permanent exhibition Mémoire de la Station Sanitaire (memory of the sanitary station) includes a video installation in the steam room and machine room. The current compilations of images, drawings, photographs and sculptures present works related to Marseille, Provence and the entire Mediterranean region.

Musée d'Art Contemporain

The Musée d'Art Contemporain (MAC) (Museum of Contemporary Art) presents works by contemporary artists in changing exhibitions. B. Monographs by Gordon Matta-Clark , Rosemarie Trockel , Dieter Roth , Franz West and Rodney Graham .

Musée des Beaux-Arts

The Musée des Beaux-Arts in focus (Museum of Fine Arts) presented after the reopening in June 2013 paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. These include works by Italian masters such as Perugino, Guercino, Carracci der Pannini and French artists such as Champaigne, Vouet, Lesueur, Greuze, Vernet, Hubert Robert and David. The Dutch Peter Paul Rubens , Jacob Jordaens and Frans Snyders are also represented. The French school of the 19th century is a focus of the collection. In addition to his masters Courbet, Corot, Daubigny, Millet and Puvis de Chavanne, works by representatives of the Marseille school are shown, including Loubon , Guigou and Ziem. The inner voice , a masterpiece by Auguste Rodin that the sculptor bequeathed to the museum, and the busts of celebrities such as Juste Milieu or Ratapoil von Daumier are examples of 19th century sculptures.

Borély Museum

When the city of Marseille acquired the Borély country estate with the large park in the 8th arrondissement in the late 19th century , it set up an archaeological museum there, which existed until 1989. After extensive renovations, the castle has been reopened as a museum for handicrafts, faience and costume history since June 15, 2013 .

Musée d'Histoire Naturelle

The Musée d'Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum) shows zoological and geological exhibitions and, like the Musée des Beaux-Arts, is located in the side wings of the Palais Longchamp (see buildings) .

Center de la Vieille Charité

The Center de la Vieille Charité , the former hospital for the poor, houses the Musée d'Archéologie Méditerranéenne (Museum of Mediterranean Archeology) and the Musée d'arts Africains, Océaniens et Amérindiens (Museum of African, Oceanic and Indian Art).

Cantini Museum

The Musée Cantini , located in the bourgeois 6th arrondissement, is based on the legacy of the sculptor Jules Cantini , who also created the marble sculpture on Place Castellane and who donated the building and its collection to the city in 1916. With purchases, numerous donations and support from state museums (Musée national d'art moderne, Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, Musée National Picasso, Musée d'Orsay ), the collection was expanded and now presents the visual arts of the 20th century. Temporary exhibitions on contemporary art take place continuously in the museum.

Musée de la Marine et de l'Economie de Marseille

In the Palais de la Bourse (stock exchange), built by Pascal Coste on the lower part of the Canebière between 1852 and 1860 , is today the Musée de la Marine et de l'Economie de Marseille (Museum of Maritime and Economics). There are exhibitions on trade, economy and transport, but the municipal facility also serves to promote the regional economy.

Musée d'Histoire de Marseille

The Musée d'Histoire de Marseille (Museum of City History) opened in 1983 and completely renovated in 2013. It is located in the Center Bourse shopping center next to the Palais de la Bourse, near the Old Port. When the Center Bourse was built in the 1970s, parts of the ancient port were exposed, which can be viewed in the Jardin des Vestiges right next to the museum.

Mediterranean cinema

Since 2011 there has been a film museum in the Château de la Buzine , which is dedicated to the cinema of the Mediterranean region.


Notre-Dame de la Garde

Notre-Dame de la Garde

South of the city center is Notre-Dame de la Garde , designed by Henri-Jacques Espérandieu in neo-Byzantine style , which was built between 1853 and 1864 on the site of a medieval pilgrimage chapel . It is located on a 147 m high limestone cliff and, next to the Château d'If in front of the port, is the landmark of Marseille. “La Bonne Mère”, as it is popularly known, contains a monumental collection of votive pictures. From the viewing platforms you have a spectacular view of the city.

Vieux Port

Old port with a view of Notre-Dame de la Garde

In the center of the city is the old port, Vieux Port . There is a fish market on the Quai des Belges . About the middle of the route to the Cours Saint-Louis is the stock exchange ( Palais de la Bourse ), where the Musée de la Marine et de l'Économie de Marseille is housed. When Musée des Docks Romains , the port facilities were from the first century of our era. The Musée d'Histoire de Marseille was built around some of the remains of the ancient port. From the old port small transport ships and tourist boats go to the Frioul Islands , consisting of the islands of Ratonneau, Pomègues and If with the Château d'If . Some ships sail past the Calanques to Cassis (Bouches-du-Rhône), about fifteen kilometers away, with Europe's highest cliff.

La Canebière

From the Old Port, the approximately one kilometer long former boulevard La Canebière stretches in a north-easterly direction to the Église des Réformés church . The street name comes from the Provencal term Canabiero and refers to the trade in hemp Cannabis sativa . The Canebière was lined with commercial buildings and cafés and in the past was often compared to the Parisian Avenue des Champs-Élysées . The street has changed into a busy street since the 1970s with the increase in road traffic. Between Cours Belsunce or Cours Saint-Louis and Boulevard Dugommier / Boulevard Garibaldi , decaying or neglected facades predominate.

The Old Port of Marseille photographed from the Quai du Port, the Panier side

Quartier du Panier

The Quartier du Panier is located north of the Old Port in the 2nd arrondissement and is called "Panier" by the locals. It is the place where Marseilles was first settled. Behind the baroque town hall ( Hôtel de ville ), which houses the mayor's office ( Mairie ), begins the relatively untouched old core of Marseilles. The city's windmills have stood on the Place des Moulins , one of the two hills of ancient Marseille, since the early days. The ground plans of the streets and stairs largely correspond to the Greek era, new houses were built on the land and walls of the old houses. Most of today's houses date from the 18th, some from the 16th and 17th centuries. The Greeks built an agora on the other high hill of the ancient city ; today, old bistros line the Place de Lenche on Rue Saint-Pons . The Cathédrale de la Major , built in neo-Byzantine style like Notre-Dame de la Garde, is still in the Panier, also to the west of the Old Port . It was built between 1852 and 1893 and has two domed towers and a 16 meter high crossing dome.

On the Quai du Port , five-story new buildings were built in the 1960s and 1970s. Behind it there is another row of residential buildings: Werkbund- Nachläufer, a kind of elongated and high-level fragmentation that is expressed in bay-shaped brick applications. Before that, the actual harbor district was located there, a branched network of residential buildings from the 17th century, many small alleys and stairs. The Germans who marched into Marseille in November 1942 saw this as a factor of uncertainty and a "refuge" for the Resistance . In January 1943, after the so-called “evacuation” of almost 27,000 inhabitants to a prison camp near Fréjus, under the orders of Field Marshal von Rundstedt , German troops began blowing up the harbor area (1924 building).

The New Port (Port Moderne) stretches behind the Place de la Joliette . The Docks de Marseille located here, 365 meters long warehouses built between 1858 and 1864, were converted into offices, apartments or event venues as part of the Euroméditerranée . Shops and restaurants that opened in October 2015 are on the ground floor.

The east facade of the Cité Radieuse by Le Corbusier

Cité radieuse

The first 'vertical city' of the Unité d'Habitation type realized by Le Corbusier in 1947–1952 as a forerunner of the prefabricated buildings. The shopping street, café (of the integrated hotel) and roof terrace (with a view of the mountains surrounding Marseille and the sea) are open to the public; the café and restaurant seem to have largely been preserved in their original state and illustrate the grid-like modular construction very well.

Borély Park

The avenue with the Chateau Borely in the park of the same name

Parc Borély is a 17 hectare urban park in the south of Marseilles. It essentially consists of three parts: the Hippodrome, the avenue with the Chateau Borély and an English garden; A rosarium is also included, the botanical garden is attached and the Huveaune floodplains connect almost directly with the sea. A variety of leisure activities are possible, especially for children (carousels, Kettcar rental, etc.). The Chateau Borély houses the Musée des Arts décoratifs, de la Faïence et de la Mode.

Panoramic view of Marseille as seen from Notre Dame de la Garde


In addition to the traditional Provencal cuisine, there are also many influences from the entire Mediterranean region in Marseille, due to the large number of immigrants: the cuisine is Levantine , Maghreb , Greek, Italian, Corsican, Spanish, Jewish-Sephardic and Armenian.

The bouillabaisse comes from Marseille and is known throughout France and beyond. This soup, originally cooked by fishermen from unsold fish, prawns and mussels, is standard in the restaurants of Marseille.

Les pieds et paquets refers to sheep or lamb rumen, which is rolled and stuffed with bacon, garlic and parsley. To be Pied de Mouton and sheep athlete's foot done.

In traditional Marseilles cuisine (as everywhere in France), fresh ingredients are used in the region. Fish and seafood are preferred, but meat and poultry are also often prepared.


Every year in Marseille, the "Mondial La Marseillaise à Pétanque" takes place, the largest pétanque tournament in the world. In 2006, for example, 4112 teams with 12,336 players competed.

Since 1979, on the last Sunday in October, Marseille has been the starting point of Marseille - Cassis , one of the most popular road races in France.

In 2010, Marseille was elected European Capital of Culture 2013. Several parts of the city have been extensively restored and restructured. In 2012, the 6th World Water Forum took place in Marseille  , as Marseille has been the world water capital since 1996.

In 2013, the 9th World Music Festival Babel Med Music took place in the Docks des Suds with an extensive congress and trade fair program and numerous concerts.


In addition to the typical French chansons, Marseille is a fixture in French hip-hop . In the mid-1980s, groups like IAM began to inspire young people from migrant families in particular for the new style of music. Today, thanks largely to the artists from Marseille, the French hip-hop market is the second largest in the world after that of the USA.

Natural monuments

In April 2012, the Parc National des Calanques was officially inaugurated. The national park extends from Marseille over six other communities and serves to protect the Calanques , the limestone mountains near the coast, including the shoreline. In the core zone it covers an area of ​​around 11,200 hectares of land and 78,000 hectares of lake area, in the peripheral zone around 34,000 hectares of land and 145,000 hectares of lake area. The protection concept includes a. an elaborate visitor guidance through the creation of marked hiking trails and a strict entry ban if there is a risk of forest fire.

Stade Vélodrome of Notre Dame de la Garde (2016)
Stade Vélodrome before the renovation


Olympique de Marseille

Olympique Marseille was founded in 1899 and is a very successful national and international football club. The home games are played in the Stade Vélodrome, which holds 67,000 spectators . The club colors are white and azure blue.

Previous successes:

Mondial la Marseillaise à pétanque

Every year in Marseille, the Mondial la Marseillaise à pétanque, the world's largest pétanque tournament, takes place. It is a tournament open to all pétanque players. A license is not required to participate. In 2006, for example, there were 4,112 Equipes (teams) with 12,336 players at the start. It will be held in the Parc Borély, which is not far from the beach, and in the adjacent areas, the final always at the Old Harbor. Before this tournament, the annual championships of Jeu Provençal also take place in Parc Borely . This is the old, historical version of the boule (pétanque) game, which originated in Provence. Thousands of players take part here too, but they naturally come from the southern region (France).

Economy and location factors

Important branches of industry are the vehicle, machine, metal and food industries. Marseille has an important seaport , the Marseille Europort . The shipping company CMA CGM has its headquarters in the Tour CMA CGM .

Marseille is also a focus in the artisanal production of santons . 35 manufacturers (out of 200 in Provence) live in Marseille. During the Christmas season there is a market devoted almost exclusively to this topic on the Canebière. Les Baumettes prison is located in Marseille .


The most important newspaper is La Provence .


Share of means of transport (modal split)

In 2009, the various modes of transport had the following shares in total traffic ( modal split ): private motor vehicle traffic: 45% (−6% compared to 1997), pedestrian traffic 37% (+ 3%), public transport 14% (+ 2%), motorcycle 3 % (+1.3%), bike 0.4% (unchanged).

Long-distance rail and freight transport

TGV multiple unit in Saint-Charles Central Station
The grand staircase to the Saint-Charles train station

Marseille can be reached via the Méditerranée high-speed line, which went into operation in 2001, by TGV in around three hours from Paris ( Gare de Lyon ), 750 km away . The station for these trains is the Saint-Charles terminus, which is located on a hill . The station, which opened on January 8, 1848 and has meanwhile been expanded to 16  tracks , forms the city's central transport hub. In addition to the TGV trains, numerous other long-distance and regional trains depart from there. Since March 2012 there has been a daily direct connection to Frankfurt am Main in eight hours , and a pair of Thalys trains to Amsterdam run in the summer months .

The railway junction with marshalling yard is located between Marseille and Avignon near Miramas , via which Marseille, as an industrial conurbation and with the largest European port on the Mediterranean, is connected to the rail freight network.

Road traffic

The toll road tunnel Saint-Laurent or Tunnel du Vieux-Port runs under the southern old town and the Vieux-Port . The motorways coming from the north are connected to the east bypass of Marseilles via another tunnel (Viaduc de Plombières) . The highways Marseille-Lyon and Marseille-Toulon are connected by a tunnel.

Heavy traffic is a big problem. Marseille is the city with the most traffic jams in France.


Metro and tram network

The transport in the public transport (public transport) in Marseille are from the Régie des Transports Marseillais operated (RTM).

Metro and tram

Video of the tram line 2 in Marseille

Opened in 1977 and later expanded and expanded several times, the Marseille Metro has two lines. These cross twice, at Castellane station and at Saint Charles main station . The route runs in tunnels in the city center, outside of the city the trains run on the surface or as an elevated train on pillars. The carriages have air-filled, rail-guided tires with power supply from a busbar . The model here was the Paris Metro .

In the mid-1990s, due to the sharp increase in road traffic, there were considerations in Marseille to reintroduce the tram that had disappeared from the cityscape. Until then, the tram was frowned upon and was considered out of date and inconvenient, as the routes that had existed since 1876 and were previously numerous had been discontinued except for one line from the mid-20th century. The decision was made to renovate the existing route and build new ones. The first of the two new tram lines on the Euroméditerranée - Les Caillols section has been in operation since July 2007 . The vehicles for this were produced from 2006 in Vienna by Bombardier Transportation Austria. The tram cars were commissioned on the Wiener Linien test track .

Bus transport

There are over 80 urban bus routes in Marseille. They run - typical of France - in the evenings and Sundays according to a clearly thinned-out timetable. With the urban lines you can also reach the Calanques . Other lines offer connections to the surrounding area, including the coastal region with other destinations in the Calanques.

Bus route 82 has been served by battery buses since June 2016 : the six Irizar i2e buses used have a transport capacity of 77 people each.

Air traffic

Marseille Airport (French Aéroport Marseille Provence ), which is important for the south of France because it is centrally located, is 20 kilometers northwest of Marseille and southwest of the Étang de Berre near the city of Marignane . It is served by numerous international airlines, including several German airports.


The ferry port of Marseille is located in the Port Moderne docks, which were laid out in 1844 . It is one of the most important ports for travelers to the Maghreb and Corsica . Several routes of the companies Corsica Linea (formerly SNCM ) and La Méridionale connect Marseille daily with Ajaccio and Bastia , Ile Rousse , Propriano (some with continuation to Porto Torres in Sardinia ) and Porto-Vecchio several times a week. All year round there are weekly ferry connections with Corsica Linea and Tunisia Ferries to Tunis and with Corsica Linea and Algérie Ferries to Algiers and Oran . Skikda and Annaba are also used less frequently.

The port facilities of the Marseille Europort, which are much more important for freight traffic, are located, among other things. a. in Fos-sur-Mer, about 50 kilometers to the west . A total of around 81 million tons of goods were handled here in 2016, of which 12.9 million tons were bulk goods . The number of containers handled was 1.4 million TEU in 2017  . In the West Harbor was due to the closure of a total - Refinery of Flüssiggutumschlag to 46.5 million tonnes.

Bicycle traffic

In 2007, the public bicycle rental company Le Vélo was installed, through which bicycles can be rented with an EC or credit card or by registering with the municipal provider. According to him, the stations are no more than about five hundred meters apart and are mainly distributed over the core city area and along streets leading to the center. Around 1000 bicycles are available at 130 stations. The system works like Vélib ' in Paris, but the tariffs are cheaper: the 7-day subscription costs € 1, the annual subscription € 5, the first half hour is free, every additional hour € 1, with an annual subscription € 0.50 . The offer supports the urban planning focus on the expansion of bicycle traffic with wide cycle paths, especially along the arterial roads and in the new dock district at the port.

Metropolitan hiking trail

A so-called metropolitan hiking trail, the European long-distance hiking trail GR 2013, was set up as part of the 2013 European Capital of Culture region . It leads through the city, its suburbs and its periphery. The path is intended to enable the population to hike all parts of the city on foot - including the otherwise little-used peripheral areas.


The celebrities in Marseille include the pathologist Étienne-Louis Arthur Fallot , the illustrator Honoré Daumier , the actor Fernandel and the footballers Zinédine Zidane and Éric Cantona .



  • Monique Clavel-Lévêque: The Greek Marseille. Development stages and dynamics of a trading city . In: Elisabeth C. Welskopf (Ed.): Hellenic Poleis. Crisis, change, effect , Darmstadt 1974
  • Jean Guyon: Marseille. In: Real Lexicon for Antiquity and Christianity . Volume 24, Hiersemann, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-7772-1222-7 , Sp. 246-265


Web links

Commons : Marseille  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Marseille  - travel guide
Wiktionary: Marseille  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Population on January 1, 2017 by age group, gender and metropolitan regions. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on June 11, 2017 ; Retrieved May 25, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Marseille - founded by love from Planet Wissen.Retrieved November 8, 2013
  3. Fragments of Aristotle's lost "Constitution of Massalia" and Justin's "Trogi Pompei epitoma", both of which report on this foundation, do not contradict this legend.
  4. Eduard Meyer: History of Antiquity - Volume 4; Jazzybee Verlag, 2012; ( Online in Google Book Search)
  5. Hermann Bengtson: Greek History from the Beginnings to the Roman Empire; CH Beck, Munich 1977; ( Online in Google Book Search)
  6. ^ G. Barruol: Les peuples pre-romains du sud-est de la Gaule: étude de geographie historique. RAN Suppl. 1, Paris 1969, p. 224, No. 1.
  7. ^ G. Barruol: Les peuples pre-romains du sud-est de la Gaule: étude de geographie historique. RAN Suppl. 1, Paris 1969, p. 199.
  8. Hdt. 1,163,1-1,165.4, Solin. II, 77, Liv. V, 34.7-8
  9. ^ Hermann Bengtson: Roman History - Republic and Imperial Era up to 284 AD , 8th edition, CH Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-02505-6 , p 192f. ( Online in Google Book Search).
  10. Yersinia pestis bacterium clearly identified as the cause of the great plague epidemic of the Middle Ages - press release by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz on November 8, 2010; Retrieved November 9, 2013
  11. Fleur Beauvieux: Épidémie, pouvoir municipal et transformation de l'espace urbain: la peste de 1720–1722 à Marseille (French / English); Pp. 29-50
  12. Michael Curtis: Verdict on Vichy. Power and prejudice in the Vichy France regime. Arcade, New York 2003, ISBN 1-55970-689-9 , pp. 194f.
  13. Jump up ↑ The Landing and Battle of Provence. Chemins de Mémoire, accessed on March 10, 2018. Hellwing was sentenced to death in absentia in Marseille in 1954, but nevertheless became a member of the SPD state parliament in North Rhine-Westphalia and a member of the SPD's federal executive committee.
  14. Peter Lieb : Conventional war or ideological war? Warfare and the fight against partisans in France 1943/44 , Oldenbourg Verlag 2007, page 484 ( online in the Google book search).
  15. cf. ORF: Wait a minute on Sunday . Corresponding criticism has been expressed, for example, by the Un Center-Ville pour Tous (CVPT) association. See e.g. B. Myriam Guillaume: Un center ville pour tous: Curieux des effets de la rénovation urbaine .
  16. Christopher Dickey: Integration in France: Mélange Marseille , ZEIT ONLINE, March 5, 2012.
  17. ^ Info sheet Marseille , Haack Weltatlas-Online
  18. ^ Article by the Open Society Foundations of September 20, 2011: Muslims in Marseille feel rejected by their city; accessed on March 31, 2013
  19. ^ List of the Marseilles synagogues ; accessed on March 31, 2013
  20. ^ Jüdische Allgemeine, online from February 14, 2013 : Safe haven - Jews have been living in Marseille for around 1,500 years. A foray through the European Capital of Culture 2013; accessed on March 31, 2013
  21. ^ FAZ-Online: Marseille - city of crime ; Retrieved July 29, 2013
  22. cf. Pascal Blanchard, Gilles Boëtsch : Marseille, porte sud - Un siècle d'histoire coloniale et d'immigration (French)
  23. Michaela Wiegel: Marseille: Spielend in die Kriminalität , of October 6, 2011, accessed on December 20, 2011.
  24. Notes on video surveillance in public spaces ( memento of the original from October 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , published by the City of Marseille, accessed March 23, 2013 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  25. ^ Sister cities of Marseilles (French).
  26. ^ The history of MuCEM. (No longer available online.) MuCEM, archived from the original on July 17, 2013 ; Retrieved August 18, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  27. ^ Museum website , accessed January 13, 2016
  28. MAC website with information on the exhibitions
  29. ^ Information on the exhibition in the Musée des Beaux-Arts , accessed on March 30, 2013
  30. Information about the Cantini Museum in [1] (French)
  31. ^ Museum website , accessed January 13, 2016
  32. ^ France: New Filmmuseum in Marseille , Berliner Morgenpost of September 25, 2011, accessed on April 5, 2012
  33. ^ When the Germans raged in Marseille - report on Deutschlandradio Kultur
  34. Official website , accessed January 30, 2016
  35. ^ Website of the restaurant in the Cité Radieuse hotel , accessed on January 1, 2016
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  37. ^ Gastronomic specialties from Marseille (French), accessed on April 15, 2013
  38. Thomas Jorda: A Unique World  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Niederösterreichische Nachrichten of October 24, 2011@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  39. Marseille, a city on the move , German Consulate General Marseille, accessed on April 5, 2012
  40. ^ Michel Winde: Marseille: The Ruhr area of ​​France , Westdeutsche Zeitung of October 21, 2011, accessed on April 5, 2012
  41. ^ World Water Forum 2012 , Marseille Tourism and Congress Office, accessed April 5, 2012
  42. Deutschlandradio Kultur on the Babel Med Music 2013 festival
  43. Downloads for the events of the Babel Med Music Festival (French / English)
  44. Official publication ( Memento of the original from January 30, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. for the establishment of the Parc National des Calanques @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  45. Basic data of the Parc National des Calanques ( Memento of the original from January 26, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (English) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  46. Christiane Schott: Southern France: For the sake of the figure , ZEIT ONLINE from December 23, 2010
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  48. Michael Kläsgen: Direct train connection Frankfurt – Marseille - The border driver from Alsace , sü from March 23, 2012, accessed on March 24, 2012
  49. According to Tom Tom Traffic Index , accessed on September 20, 2016
  50. Public transport in Marseille RTM operates the public transport
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  52. Port of Marseille misses target . In: Daily port report of January 31, 2017, p. 13
  53. Wolfhart Fabarius: French ports draw positive balance · Marseille: Away from oil . In: Daily port report of January 31, 2018, p. 14
  54. le vélo , information as of February 2015