The ‘Vieux‑Port’ (Old Port)
Together with ‘Notre-Dame de la Garde’, the ‘Vieux Port’ of Marseille, located at the bottom of the famous ‘Canebière’ is one of the symbols of the city. With gatherings, major events, and fireworks, it is the landmark of the people of Marseille!
It is the focal point of Marseille’s history, where the ancient Greek colony Massalia was founded, and later became the Roman Massilia. The medieval Marsiho was also built around the Old Port. From then on, the port entrance was guarded by two forts, Saint-Nicolas and Saint-Jean fort. Surrounded by limestone cliffs, the city is naturally orientated towards the Mediterranean sea. The primary purpose of Marseille’s ‘Vieux Port’ was trade and over time, the city established networks with increasingly remote destinations.
One of the symbols of the ‘Vieux Port’ was the transporter bridge, a metallic structure joining the two forts, inaugurated in 1905, which was unfortunately destroyed after the Second World War.
The Old Port was renovated in 2013, the same year Marseille was designated European Capital of Culture (easier access to the port, reduced traffic, creation of a shade house by the architect Norman Foster). To this day, the ‘Vieux Port’ remains Marseille’s vibrant hub guarded over by Notre Dame de la Garde.
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