Les 3 Lucs - Neighborhood © WG OTLCM (3)Les 3 Lucs - Neighborhood © WG OTLCM (3)
©Les 3 Lucs - Neighborhood © WG OTLCM (3)

Les Trois-Lucs in Marseille

The Trois-Lucs district, located in Marseille’s 12th borough, has a strategic position that gives it an important role. Several meanings have been assigned to it over the years.

A neighborhood next to Allauch

Located on the city’s eastern edge, the Trois-Lucs neighborhood belongs to Marseille’s 12th borough. It is surrounded by the districts of Caillols, Olives, Valentine and the commune of Allauch. It lies at the eastern end of the Beaumont plateau linking the city of Marseille to the Garlaban massif. The Trois-Lucs crossroads represents a historic crossing point occupying a pass between the vallée du Jarret, to the north, and the vallée de l’Huveaune, to the south. The pétanque court adjoining the crossroads is one of the neighborhood’s most typical landmarks.

The neighborhood’s name has evolved over the centuries: Tras Lucs, Tres Lus, Treillux… Its meaning also varies. For Alfred Saurel, a French writer and historian, they were three sources of light at the heart of the surveillance posts that encircled the city of Marseille. The creators of the stained glass windows in Sainte-Rita church also retained this interpretation. For Père Soragi, the word trelus means “orient” in the sense of radiance, but can also evoke the rise of the sun, addressed in the pastoral Maurel. According to Albert Dauzat, a French linguist, the origin of the popular toponym Luc has its roots in the Latin, lucus, meaning a wooded place. The Trois-Lucs district is indeed surrounded by many forests.

Since 1914, a tramway line has served Les Trois-Lucs in Marseille, a neighborhood then renowned for its guinguettes, dance halls and bowls games , which attract crowds of city dwellers mainly at weekends. The grottes Monnard, discovered in 1848, provided the water supply until 1970 for the Brasserie Phénix (now Heineken Group). The brewer still owns the property today, despite an attempt by the mayor’s office in 1993 to transfer the caves to the public domain. To the south of the district is la Commanderie, the training center of Olympique de Marseille, the city’s iconic soccer club.

Celebrities from the Trois-Lucs district


Fernand Joseph Contandin, better known as Fernandel, was a Marseille actor, humorist, singer and film director. Famous for his song “Félicie aussi”, he acquired the villa Les Mille Roses on Marseille’s Avenue des Trois-Lucs on April 4, 1935, on the occasion of his tenth wedding anniversarywith his wife Henriette Manse. After his death, this main artery in the neighborhood was renamed avenue Fernandel in his honor.

Marie Deluil-Martiny

Born in Marseille in 1841, Marie Deluil-Martiny was an important nun from the Phocaean city who was recognized blessed by the Catholic Church. She founded the Filles du Coeur de Jésus and the Association de la Garde d’Honneur du Sacré-Coeur, now called the Association de la Présence au Christ, which aimed to find individuals praying night and day in succession before the Blessed Sacrament. On February 27, 1884, she was the victim of assassination by an anarchist, in the garden of the monastery of the Servianne, a place she herself had founded at Les Trois-Lucs in Marseille. In 1989, Pope John Paul II beatified her at St. Peter’s in Rome.

Sainte-Rita church

Located at 366 avenue des Poilus, the Sainte-Rita church is one of the Trois-Lucs district’s important monuments. During the 20th century, the neighborhood began to grow, raising the question of establishing a place of worship. The Camau-Parenque family then offered land on condition that the chapel be consecrated to Sainte-Rita, patron saint of desperate causes and lost objects. The abbé Jean-Baptiste Gandolfi took charge of its construction, using modest bricks. It was inaugurated in 1932 by Monseigneur Dubourg, Bishop of Marseille. In the years that followed, the chapel was transformed and embellished, becoming successively a parish and then a church. The blessing of the first stone took place in 1955 by Monseigneur Delay and the inauguration a year later. The Trinity is strongly symbolized within the church. At the entrance, three stained glass windows recall the Trois Lumières, which by deformation gave the name Trois-Lucs to the neighborhood.

How do I get to the Trois-Lucs district?

To reach the Trois-Lucs district in Marseille, you can take bus lines 4(Metro La Rose – La Valentine Centre Commercial), 4B (Metro La Rose – Les 3 Lucs), 7 (Foch 5 Avenues – Les 3 Lucs Enco de Botte) and 7T (Foch 5 Avenues – Allauch Barbaraou).

By metro, from Gare Saint-Charles, you can take the M1 line to the terminus La Rose and continue by bus or cab to Les Trois-Lucs in Marseille.

By car from the north, Follow the Autoroute A51, A7 and A507 then take exit 4 towards Saint-Barnabé, Saint-Julien and follow your destination.