The Antiquaires district

Crossing the 6th and 8th arrondissements of the city of Marseille, in the Bouches du Rhône department, the Antiquaires district is located in the famous rue Edmond Rostand, from boulevard Périer to boulevard Paul-Peytral. This district is described as one of the most beautiful in the whole city. Renowned for its brocante quarterly, this neighborhood is home to a variety of art galleries, antique dealers, brocanteurs and bouquinistes. A veritable paradise on earth for artists, discover the history of this district and the addresses not to be missed.

History of rue Edmond Rostand

The history of this street is very recent, historically speaking. It owes its name to the famous poet and playwright Edmond Rostand, himself born in this street at n°14, on April 1, 1868. Edmond Rostand is best known for writing the play Cyrano de Bergerac, but also for his poems Les Musardises, Ode à la musique and his play Les Deux Pierrots.

Previously, this street was called “rue de Marbre” until 1860, when the city changed its name to “rue Montaux”, which is none other than the name of the owner who donated the land for the development of Marseille. On November 18, 1919, the street was definitively named Edmond Rostand.

The Antiquaires district holds on its premises the oldest Greek Catholic church in France, as well as the very first Melkite church in the world. In 1822, it was built at the request of Greek Catholic refugees. On March 7, 1878, architect Pierre Bossan inaugurated the Couvent des Dominicains. The Dominicans are an order dedicated to the salvation of souls. They hold daily masses in the church. Catholics from all over Europe come here all year round. Dressed all in white, the Dominican friars invite everyone to visit.

Besides its strong artistic appeal, the Marseilles district has a fairly recent historical heritage. It’s mainly known for its antique stores and other brocantes. In the 1980s, an association was created by a group of shopkeepers and local residents, called the “Association Rostand “.

The district’s must-sees

The Antiquaires district is much appreciated by artists who come to stay in Marseille. In this district, and more particularly on Rue Edmond Rostand, you’ll find a wide range of artistic boutiques. Second-hand dealers, second-hand booksellers, decorators, cabinet makers, painters and art galleries, Marseille’s artisans are proud to welcome you. A national flea market has been organized for over 25 years now, 4 times a year. All professionals in the field can register to sell their antiques.

If you decide to pass through the heart of Marseille, don’t miss this famous district and its unique stores that delight bargain hunters. We recommend stopping off in front of the childhood home of the very famous Edmond Rostand, at no. 14, to whom the district pays tribute. Today, the building has been bought by Alain Storione, a wealthy entrepreneur and businessman from Marseille.

The entire district is made up of pretty Haussmann-style buildings, with ashlar facades inspired by the Napoleonic era. As you enter the main street, a large iron arch is present, with the inscription “quartier des Antiquaires”.

For a visit at night, let yourself be swept away by the entertainment, including various window-shopping competitions and orchestras, under the illuminations of the district.

Great restaurants nestle in the heart of this artistic district. Here’s a list of the crème de la crème:

  • Le Al Dente, at 10 rue Edmond Rostand. This Italian restaurant specializes in traditional, homemade fresh pasta.
  • The Rosemonde, at 26 rue Edmond Rostand. Here you’ll find high-quality, traditional cuisine to satisfy young and old alike.
  • The Pequeña Boqueria, at 18 rue Edmond Rostand. This iconic restaurant transports you to the heart of Spain with its delicious authentic tapas and charming atmosphere.

The advantage of this neighborhood is that you can enjoy visiting it, whatever the time of year. The off-season is a much quieter time to wander the streets and appreciate the artisan shops. Located in the heart of the city, you can easily plan an itinerary to enjoy the surrounding neighborhoods.

In the 8th arrondissement, find the famous stade Orange Vélodrome, the pride of Olympique de Marseille fans. Not far away is the Bonneveine area, with Marseille’s greatest beaches.

Practical information

To get to the Antiquaires district, we recommend using the city’s public transport system, as you’ll avoid the traffic jams of the city center. The T3 tramway line takes you there (stop “Rome Dragon”), as do the 41, 54 and 81 bus lines, and the line 1 metro (stop “Estrangin”).