Not very far from the "Cité radieuse" of Le Corbusier, in the direction of the University of Marseille at Luminy, I also took this picture of two recent buildings. It was late afternoon, the light was perfect for a picture. However, I feel that even if the architect has taken some inspiration from Le Corbusier, he has not taken the best.
Close to the "Cité radieuse" of Le Corbusier stands a building which has been built recently and of which I do not know the name of the architect. However, I took its picture because I felt that it was beyond any evidence deeply inspired by Le Corbusier. Actually, there are plenty of spiritual sons of Le Corbusier !
For Le Corbusier, in a building, everything had to be functional and there was no fancy décor added. On the other hand, instead of hiding, for example emergency exits, he thought them as a part of the scenery. He associates straight lines and curves with a great sense of harmony.
The whole building is built on strong reinforced concrete legs that give it an aerial look though the general look is very massive, with extensive use of concrete, without any unnecessary adornments. Le Corbusier is one of the main instigators of modern, functional architecture.
We snapped this photo of a statue of A. Pierre Puget, with a small waterfall behind, at Jardin Pierre Puget. This was a nice little familar park, which we encountered as we walked up from the old harbor (Vieux Port) to see Notre Dame de la Garde.
Cassis isn't really off the beaten path but I thought I would put it here.
Cassis is a really nice port town, not to far to the south west of Marseille. It is a great spot to have lunch, like I did with my host family. It was really nice and not to crowed, probably because it was winter. It is also really good driving up the road onto the cliff tops and looking down at Cassis.
P.S it was really windy up on the cliff when I was there so don't wear a hat!
Try to walk up, way up, to the church (don't remember the name). The path through the streets of Marseille is steep and you may reach the top in sweats. But the view is worth it! We didn't even go inside the building, the view was plenty for us and the walk a great peak inside the city.
The Church - or Eglise, in French - of Saint Ferreol stands on Quai des Belges. Built in the 16th century and passed on to the church in the year 1542, it was then given to the influencial Augustines order. In the early years of the 19th century, two of the bays were removed and a cement façade erected shortly afterwards - I wish they kept it as it was, though, never was one for cement…
Eglise des Chartreux church stands on Place Audran. This enormous religious buildings is all that remains of a Carthusian monastery that was since destroyed. The interesting side of it is that is was built to the design of the prior, Jean-Baptiste Berger between the years 1680 and 1702. He was not only saving souls, then…
The ýMusee de la Faienceý contains one of the largest collections of porcelain both in France and in Europe. The earliest exhibits date back to the Neolithic times, and the most modern are, well, from the 21st century. Wider time span, anyone??? By far the largest part of the collection are the delicate and lushly decorated ceramics that graced the tables of local landowners during the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum is about 3 miles south of the center of Marseille, in Château Pastré, that was built by a local ship owner in 1864 after the manner of great manor houses of noblemen. Adults pay 2 Euros; children aged 11-18 and students - 1 Euro to enter. Children younger that 11 can come in for free.
Pay a visit to Asterix, Tintin, Garfield and many more classic or modern comic heros at
La Passerelle (Rue des trois Mages - 6eme). France has a great tradition in this field and this can best be felt when flicking through the various magazines. A little Cafe in the shop adds to the relaxed atmosphere. Just opposite the shop there are also a couple of Bouquinistes, and unlike in Paris, they are really off the beaten path. Well hidden from the tourists it must be passion that keeps them going.
The Red Line of History is a marked walk from Vieux Port into the Panier (basket of Marseille) it takes a leisurely two hours if you don't go in the cathedral but, I would allow an afternoon to go walking around the old streets. It's a hilly area.
The park at Borely. You can spend a morning in the park and maybe hire a boat for the lake. Then you can have a roast lunch at the Red Lion and swim in the afternoon at the L'Escale Borely Beach. Enjoy your day. (The Red Lion has disabled facilities and also allows pets)
Navettes - You may see or be served a Navette (there are three kinds but all the same shape) it's a bread roll served hot and commemorates the arrival of Saint Magdalene and Saint Martha to Marseille 2000 years ago.
Marseille is great but lacks beaches.
You must take a drive to Les Calanques de Cassis, some of the most beautiful rocky bays with the bluest water. Make it a day activity. Isolated, nice water and people.
The parking is odd (also watch for car burglars), the hike can take you 30-45 minutes to the first calanques, and 45-60 minutes to the second, with steep slopes in an arid setting (bring lunch and water).