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The Oldest City in France

Aug 17, 2007
Marseille is not only Frances oldest city but one of its proudest. One of the citys greatest assets is the wild natural beauty that surrounds it, countless beaches, shaggy islands a superb marine life and eerily beautiful chalky. In the time of the French colonies, Marseilles was the gateway to the Mediterranean. Today it remains the capital of southern Europe, cosmopolitan and exuberant, with its picturesque old port, its Bouillabaisse and its folklore.

During World War Two, Marseille was bombed by the Italians and the Germans in 1940. The city was occupied by Germans and over one third of the old quarter of the city was destroyed.

The fashion centre is found along cours Julien, where you will find dozens of boutiques and retailers. Much of the clothing reflects North African influences, although there is a vast array of French styles as well.

Marseilles night life has something for everyone, with plenty of live rock and jazz, as well as the more choice pastimes of theatre, concert and opera going. The most animated night life is to be found around place Jean Jaures, with plenty of bars to choose from and live music to listen to.

Restaurant goers are in for a treat in Marseille. The city is home to some of the countrys best cooking and for those who like their food rustic or fishy or both, this is the place to come.

The fish market in the old port is the hub of Marseille life. The Fishermen in Marseille leave the port between three and four oclock in the morning to get their catch of the day, a couple of hours later they set up stands all along the front of the port and sell fresh fish. This market trades throughout the morning but many pack up between 10am and 11am.

The Old Port filled with fishing boats and yachts, and surrounded by small streets teeming with seafood restaurants and shops. The wide quais are popular places for leisurely strolling, and the many terrace cafes opposite provide handy rest stops.

The main tourist attraction in Marseille is the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde and is located on a hilltop to the south of Vieux Port, the 19th century Romano Byzantine style basilica is a huge gilded statue of the Virgin stands majestically on top of the 60 meter high belfry of the basilica. Tourist can enjoy breathtaking sunset views from here
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The French Rental Site
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