The decision to build an imperial residence in Marseille was made by Prince-Président Louis-Napoléon who, during his trip in September 1852, commissioned the architect Vaucher to find a location and draw up plans for the palace. Napoleon III’s architect, Lefuel, took on the project and the City decided to donate the chosen land, the Réserve and the Pharo.
The Emperor never stayed here. After Napoleon III’s death, Empress Eugénie, the sole heir of the Pharo, gave it to the city. The inside of the Pharo Palace was then refurbished for its reincarnation as a school of medicine in 1904.
Pharo Palace now hosts meetings, fairs and conferences. The 7000m² function area throughout the historical palace and modern 2013 extension can accommodate up to 2500 people.