Memos > Marseilles, gateway to the south

Marseilles, gateway to the south - Culture

Marseilles is a very cosmopolitan city.

The Phocaean city and its port have always been a gateway to the south, the Mediterranean, but also more besides.

Andréa likes to go out and wander around the streets of Marseilles. Let's explore this city.

Marseilles, also known as the Phocaean city (cité phocéenne), has around a million inhabitants. Its port is where everything happens - the largest port in France and the Mediterranean.
Marseilles is a gateway to the East and to Africa. The city has welcomed several big migration waves (vagues migratoires) and today it is a particularly cosmopolitan (cosmopolite) city.

Massilia the Italian

In the late 19th century, scores of Italian labourers came to live in France, and Marseilles in particular. In the 1920s, Armenians followed in their footsteps to make their home in Marseilles.
Then came the Spanish who were fleeing the dictatorship, the Russians who wanted to get away from Communism or the War and the Vietnamese who, although French (colonial empire), brought very different cultures with them.

Marseilles and the Maghreb

After World War II, to rebuild the city, lots of workers from the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) were brought in to work on the building sites.
It was then the turn of the Pieds noirs to arrive in Marseilles en masse after Algeria's independence in 1962.

Camps and quarters

Upon first arriving in Marseilles, immigrants often used to begin their stay in transit camps (camps de transit: Grand Arenas, Arenc, Mazargues, Oddo or Colgate).
Le Panier is traditionally the quarter in which immigrant populations settled (Corsicans and Maghrébins), but it has also become an artistic quarter popular with tourists.
Belsunce has also become an immigrant neighbourhood. It has changed over time and is now home to a representation of recent immigrations: Chinese, Africans (Senegal, Mali), Eastern Europeans, Romani, Comoros natives, etc.

Crossing the Mediterranean

From the port of Marseilles, the Mediterranean is easy to cross and you can go direct to Corsica (Ajaccio, Bastia, Porto Vecchio, etc.), Sardinia (Porto Torres), Algeria (Algiers, Oran, Bejaïa, Annaba and Skikda) or Tunisia (Tunis).
Marseille la nuit
This memo is part of the workshop
Marseille la nuit

And elsewhere?

Marseilles and its twinned cities

Marseilles,
an outward-looking city, is now twinned (associated with cities in other countries) with 13 cities: Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Antwerp (Belgium), Copenhagen (Denmark), Genoa (Italy), Haifa (Israel), Hamburg (Germany), Kobe (Japan), Dakar (Senegal), Odessa (Ukraine), Piraeus (Greece), Shanghai (China), Marrakesh (Morocco) and Glasgow (Scotland).

Did you know?

In 2013, Marseilles is European Capital of Culture. This is a title awarded for one year to a European city on the basis of a cultural programme. A whole host of cultural events are being held for the occasion. In Marseilles, the Musée des civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée (MuCEM, a museum for Europe and the Mediterranean) was officially opened in 2013.

He said

"It is a port, one of the finest on the coast. It is illustrious in all respects. At any time of day or night, boats work for it in the most distant of seas."

Albert Londres (French writer and journalist) in Marseille, porte du sud

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