Tramway à la Joliette

"La Joliette"

and the "Mediterranée " project

Discover the ‘Joliette’ district and its history, a real economic lung of the city that has been brought up to date thanks to the ‘Euroméditerranée’ project. Architectural buildings, shopping areas, large companies, the district is at the heart of Marseille’s activity!

A bit of history

According to the legend, the name of Joliette would come from Jules César ( Julius), who  during his rivalry with Pompey, would have set camp in this area of Massilia. Yet in reality, the district takes its name from a property established here during the ancient regime.

Around the 1940s, maritime traffic that was too intense for ‘Vieux-Port’s’ (Old port) capacity and required an extension, so the government ordered the construction of the Joliette basin, north of the ‘Vieux port’. With the construction of the “Digue du large”. The infrastructures of La Joliette are used from 1847. The basin will be  finished in 1853. The auxiliary port of ‘Frioul’ is  getting bigger. The extension of the  port continue with the construction of others  basins such as ‘Lazaret’ and ‘Arenc’. Then, Napoleon’s basin construction in 1859. Afterwards, in order to link the old and new port, the  Imperial street is opened (The current republic street).

It used to be the economic lung of Marseille, but the decline in industrial activity plunged the district into a long period of slumber.

Did you know ?

The district has the largest tower in Marseille; the 145 metres high CMA-CGM tower, designed  by Zaha Hadid. A  few years  later, ” La Marseillaise” tower  designed  by star architect Jean Nouvel, was  built nearby with a façade that could be coloured according to its orientation on surrounding landscape.

The methamorphosis of 'la Joliette'

In addition to the towers, the metamorphosis of la Joliette is spectacular, especially with the transformation of the former Docks into a shopping centre for designers, a business centre and the construction of ‘Les Terrasses du port’ a huge shopping mall with seaview.

Thanks to these new features, this district of la  Joliette has  become a  highlight for shopping. In 2016, les Terrasses du port have been rewarded and have received the national best hopping centre creation trophee.

“Les Terrasses du Port”offer visitors 190 shops with a rooftop, giving you the feeling of being onboard a ship with an amazing view on la Joliette, If and Frioul islands and the north of Marseille. The R2 club has settle down on rooftop and welcomes international DJ such as Fitz Karlbrenner or Kygo and the young people from Marseille and its surroundings.

Facing ‘Les Terrasses’, ‘the Dock village’ complete the commercial offer. Grouped in the  centre aisle of this completely renovated building dating back to the industrial period, shops, art galleries and restaurants share this  amazing space varied interior atrium.

Useful information

The historic suburb the ‘Panier’ is nearby, you just have to walk along the quays or take the ‘rue de la république’ to reach it. The ‘Saint-Charles’ train station can be reached by foot in about 15 minutes. As for transports, there is the metro ‘line 2’ as well as tram lines 2 and 3, or buses 49,82 and 82s. All stop at the stop calle ‘Joliette’.

A lively and architectural district

If you pass by ‘la Joliette’, don’t  forget to discover the FRAC Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur gorgeous building closed to Joliette  square, a  few  minutes away by tram, you can also enjoy  a concert or  a ballet in the  Silo, former cereal production that  has become a concert hall.

Heading to the Mucem and Vieux Port, you will find the Vaults of ‘la Major’. A  true place  of relaxation with bars, restaurants, shops all at the foot of the Cathedral of la Major !

The ‘Joliette’ district has found a new breath of air. An important  economic and cultural centre, its  architecture plays a key role in the  new life of the area. Modern but authentic, the Joliette has  become a typical suburb of the  city, where the new and the old streets are in perfect symbiosis giving it a particularly appreciated charm that is worth a visit !