The Stock Exchange building
The oldest in France, was founded in 1599 with the appointment of four deputies in charge of working in the interests of trade and thus the port. It was based on the ground floor of the Palais Communal and later in the Town Hall.
With its increased power, at the start of the 19th century the Chamber of Commerce decided to build premises worthy of the city’s trade power.
The Palais de la Bourse, built by the architect Pascal Coste, officially opened in 1860 during Napoleon III’s visit to Marseille.
The Chamber of Commerce wanted an impressive palace but didn’t want to upset traders’ habits who handled their business outdoors: Coste put forward a plan to base all the services around a large trading floor and put the brokers’ offices outside.
The Chamber of Commerce also houses the Marine Museum which tells the story of Marseille’s trade from its very beginnings and has temporary exhibitions and a bookshop open to the general public.
The Bourse surroundings have undergone several urban planning projects and a shopping centre was built in 1977. The renovated port relics and ancient ramparts resulted in a museum devoted to the city’s history: the Marseille History Museum.