Marseille – France




– the second largest city in France, after Paris,

–  located on the southeast coast of France, Marseille is France’s largest city on the Mediterranean coast and largest commercial port.

– the capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region,

– the capital of the Bouches-du-Rhône department….

We spent little time visiting this wonderful lady and found her street cars to be pure whimsy…

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King Francis I of France visited Marseille, drawn by his curiosity to see a rhinoceros that King Manuel I of Portugal was sending to Pope Leo X, but which had been shipwrecked on the Île d’If.

King Francis I

King Francis I

His visit becomes important because in the 16th century,  he builds a fort on the hill in Marseille to resist the 1536 siege of Marseilles by the Emperor Charles V.

This for becomes the foundations of the current Basilica known as Notre-Dame de la Garde  – literally Our Lady of the Guard


 This Neo-Byzantine church was built by the architect Henri-Jacques Espérandieu on the foundations of that ancient fort located at the highest natural point in Marseille

It is a major local landmark and the site of a popular annual pilgrimage every year on Assumption Day, August 15.

 The basilica was consecrated on June 5, 1864 and replaced a church of the same name built in 1214 and restored in the 15th century.

We found the a Café across from the Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles, a most magnificent train station

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The Brasserie de la Gare provided us a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the Mediterranean view….

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We dined al fresco and had some delightful dishes….


The seafood so fresh and marvelous and the Salad Niçoise absolute perfection….

Hope you enjoyed our brief and wonderful visit to Marseille

20 responses »

  1. The only thing I didn’t like about Marseilles is my camera got taken. You can guess how Unhappy that made me. Love Salad Nicoise in all its variations.

  2. Dear Tin Man, I love your shots of fabulous street cars! Whimsical, indeed. They’re wonderful! Is the decor temporary? AND the seafood dish and the Salad Niçoise look drool-worthy. Didn’t Julia Child briefly live in Marseille during the 1950s? I think she did. And she loved it. The hustle and bustle! I’ve seen photographs of her shopping in the food markets. Thanks for the break! T.

  3. As the Mad Hatter would say “There’s a muchness about Marseille”. Taking such a utilitarian object as street car and turning it into a traveling art form is a lot of muchness – would that the rest of the world have the courage to follow suit. Tinny, sigh oh sigh for the wonderful seafood of this fab city. It has inspired me. I’m off to our village fishmonger to buy the ingredients for bouillabaisse. XXOO V.

  4. Tin man, you did put a positive spin on Marseille. I have heard from friends in France that crime there is pretty bad (or good, depending on perspective). With all your travels, what are your thoughts? Is it worth visiting with a 5 year old?

  5. Pingback: Tower of Belem : Lisbon – Portugal | Tales and Travels of the Tinman

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