Vieux Port, Marseille, France

Bas Fort Saint-Nicholas

Bas Fort Saint-Nicholas

This is Marseille’s birthplace, where Greek settlers landed in 600 BC. The Greeks set up a trading post in the hills on the north shore. The port remained the center of Marseille’s maritime life until the 19th century, when the port proved too shallow for steamboats.

Marseille Port-4

Fort St-Jean

Fort St-Jean

13th-century Bas Fort St-Nicolas and Fort St-Jean used to guard the harbor.

Hôtel de Ville

Hôtel de Ville

At its peak in the 19th century, the port could handle up to 1,200 ships. Annually, about 18,000 ships passed through, carrying 20 million barrels of freight. To put it in perspective, that was about a quarter of what was going through Liverpool at that time.

Marseille Port-3

Marseille Port-2

The port was completely destroyed during WWII in the Battle of Marseille.

Marseille Port

Today, it’s a marina for local boats and is a pedestrian-only area.

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