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    Musée d'Histoire de Marseille

    by JLBG Updated Feb 18, 2005

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    Favorite thing: The Musée d'Histoire de Marseille is a must visit if you want to better know how the city has evolved along the ages. It is close to the Canebière Avenue and behind the "Bourse de Commerce". I cannot remember the fee but it is low and free over 60 years old.

    The ticket allows to visit not only the museum but also the "Jardin des vestiges" (all the following general tips)

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    Artemis polymast

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: Though Marseille was founded by sailors coming from the antique Phocea, it was also strongly linked with more renown Ephese, dedicated to Artemis. The Temple of Artemis polymast (with several breasts) was in Ephese one of the seven marvels of the world. The Greek Marseille too had a temple to Artemis, the goddess for fertility.

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    Dolphin mosaic

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: A mosaic representing a dolphin is on display in the Museum. It had been found during diggings around the old harbor of Marseille. The dolphin is often represented on mosaics all around the Mediterranean. There are several examples in Italy, in Greece, in Tunisia for example.

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    Preserved fish

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: In the museum, this reconstructed model of amphora, cut by the middle, shows how small fishes were arranged in salt that allowed keeping them edible for several month. It has been done following the remains in actual amphora found in wrecked ships.

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    The Mediterranean, VIth century BC

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: In the museum, this map shows in green all the places that were under control or influence of the Greeks in the VIth century BC. In pale brown places under the control of the Phoenicians and in red what was under control of the Etrusques. The Greeks were by far the main rulers of the Mediterranean area.

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    Restauration and restoration

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: The window of a Restaurant, close to the "Jardin des Vestiges" (garden of vestiges) and called with the same name bears a joke. They have written "à l'étage, salle de restauration", which means that at the first level, there is a restaurant room. But it can also refer to "restoration" (of antiques), written "restauration" in French !

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    Roman highway

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: The ancient paved road of the Greek city is between two towers. It passed under the "Porte d'Italie", the main entrance into the city. The wheels of carts have for so long run on these pavements that they have carved their way and that two ruts are clearly visible.

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    Roman sewage exhaust

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: This structure is what remains of a Roman sewage exhaust leading all sewage from the city … directly into the harbor. Inside, it is 70-80 cm high, which means there was a complete system of smaller sewage pipes running under the Roman city.

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    The square tower

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: This is all what remains from a square tower that was part of the city wall and of the defense system of the city. It sadly exemplifies well what has been said "that Marseille was an ancient city that had little if no ancient remains" !

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    Mur de Crinas

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: In the "Jardin des Vestiges", besides the city wall and the two defense towers, there are the remains of a Roman Temple and of a potter's oven from a later period (early middle ages). The wall is called "mur de Crinas" (wall of Crinas), a physician from the city to whom the building of the wall is attributed. Following Pliny, Crinas, that lived at the time of Nero, "paid 6 millions of sesterces to build the wall of his city". Actually, that must have been to repair them as they actually already existed.

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    The Jardin des Vestiges

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: The quays were made of material taken from previous Greek buildings. Remains of the Roman city walls can still be seen. The "Jardin des Vestiges" have been arranged as a pleasant and peaceful place where to wander, close to the busy Canebière.

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    Soft water reservoir

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: This basin (see the small scale model on a previous picture), is close to the bottom of the harbor, and was a soft water reservoir where sailors could collect water to fill amphora with water to load on board of their ships before sailing.

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    The Greco-Roman harbor today

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: Inside the Musée d'Histoire de Marseille (museum of history of Marseille), in the "Jardin des Vestiges" (Garden of remains), the wall across the picture was the main quay of the harbor and the lawn is instead of the seawater. It dates back to the Ist century AD. It began soon to silt up and at the end of the Vth century, was completely full. Check with the small scale model on the previous picture.

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    The Greco-Roman harbor, 2,000 years ago

    by JLBG Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Favorite thing: This small scale model, on display in the Musée d'Histoire de Marseille, represents the harbor of Marseille as it was 2,000 years ago. It has been built following what remains today and that was unearthed after 1967, when diggings were performed behind the "Bourse" in order to build a subterranean parking.

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    THE OLD PART OF THE CITY

    by LoriPori Written Dec 15, 2004

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    Favorite thing: The old part of the city is noted for its narrrow, winding streets. This old part was destroyed during World War ll. The modern city of Marseilles is built around the old district. It is surrounded by gills covered with vineyards.
    The city of Marseilles was founded by Greeks more than two thousand years ago.

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