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France > Marseille > Vieux Port > Vieux Port travel guide

Vieux Port Travel Guide



Vieux Port is the area around the old port of Marseille, which itself used to link the Greek colony to the rest of the Mediterranean and today is a sight of boats, yachts, and small fishermen lining their catch of the day amid the serene, if not beautiful, quay-fronts. Vieux Port is full of seafood restaurants, waterfront cafés, and pedestrian sidewalks.

The main entrance to the harbor of the Vieux Port is flanked by two fortresses, Fort St Nicolas and Fort St Jean. These two forts represent the city’s last act of rebellion. In 1660, Louis XIV came in to suppress Marseille’s council and arrest all of its rebels. He then enlarged Fort St Jean, which dates back to the Middle Ages, and constructed Fort St Nicolas. Upon completion, he ordered the artillery of both compounds directed at Marseille to encourage obedience to his will.

There are two notable museums in Vieux Port: the Musée du Vieux Marseille (Museum of Old Marseille) and the Musée des Docks Romains (Roman Docks Museum). The Musée du Vieux Marseille is housed in the 16th century Maison Diamantée (Diamond House), which was built in 1570 by a wealthy merchant and features a diamond-faceted façade. The museum itself showcases various furniture, crèches, and santons that provide a glimpse of 18th century life in Marseille.

The Musée des Docks Romains, on the other hand, showcases the remains of a Roman shipping warehouse that was dug up in 1947 during the city’s rebuilding after Quai du Port at Vieux Port was destroyed by Hitler in the war. The museum retells of the time when Marseille was a major ship-building center of Europe.

Attractions
Fort St Nicolas
Fort St Jean
Musée du Vieux Marseille
Musée des Docks Romains
Musée des Docks Romains

Ferry Boat
The ferry boat ride on a small wooden barge that leaves from Quai du Port and crosses over to Quai de Rive Neuve on the other side is a real treat of Marseille. You can enjoy the nice views of the quay and forgo the traffic through La Cabinière and Centre Bourse that would have been required to get to Rive Neuve.







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Anonymous user updated 14 years ago

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