Is Marseille really French…?

Is Marseille really French I wonder…? It’s such a brilliant hotchpotch of different styles, cultures and colours. Really it’s a bit of everything. Maybe the old greek Massalia-polis attitude lives on? Origins aren’t important, attitudes are. And Marseille has such a fantastic mixture of old and new. It’s a great city no doubt, and a couple of days work on the south coast of France never hurt anyone…

Here’s the old city, the Vieux Port, still looking good in spite of the stains on the mirror:

The basilica looks Moroccan, or a bit Eastern…., slightly Turkish…


The combination of old and new is very French, and in Marseille it’s done with great style. Here’s the single metal strip walkway bridge juxtaposed with the old port watch-tower.


The stunning Museum of the Mediterranean, closed on Tuesdays, because we are after all in France, so I couldn’t actually visit it…




There’s even a Brit influence in Marseille. Every French town has a covered market, but Marseille has a Norman Foster glossy mirrored-ceiling version.. Take a look, this is the right way up…

And so, back to the hotel for a very French breakfast with my traductrice, Jo Hair: animal artist extraordinary If you like a penguin, you’ll love this, check the link

(And finally, why did the Brits stick an “-s” on the end of Marseille…, Marseilles? Typical Brit sort of thing to do of course…)

6 responses to “Is Marseille really French…?

  • patricknicholas

    great pics, great place. Shame you didn’t get to see the station; somehow they did things better in the 19th C – can you imagine anyone going out of their way to photograph an airport?

  • sandy1954

    A lovely set of images Tom, I particularly like the basilica shot also the treatment used on the others. Cheers, Sandy

  • thebritishberliner

    Wonderful black and white images Thomas.

    We were due to spend the summer in Provence but had to cancel for family reasons. It surely would have been a great adventure as we had booked a train from Berlin to Avignon and would have spent a night in Marseille!

    I hadn’t previously been a fan of the city but I went to an evening organised by Atout France and they convinced me to visit again…

    p.s. I love taking photographs with my iPhone so much so that I’ve begun to abandon a “proper” camera altogether. I also love Snapseed. And as Sandy said above, Snapseed is ingenious!

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