The summers are warm and dry, but planes and palm trees provide shade. Thanks to the mistral, the air is clear blue, just like the Mediterranean Sea. Welcome to Marseille, the capital of sunny Provence.
The eye is immediately drawn to it: the Notre Dame de la Garde is an impressive edifice that rises high above the city. From its top Mary and baby Jesus look out over Marseille. Italian marble gives the basilica a grand appearance. For the people of Marseille, this is a trusted and important place.
The harbour forms the entrance to the city. To protect it, the fortresses of Saint Jean and Saint Nicolas were built in the 17th century. After the Second World War, the harbour needed a facelift. In its direct surroundings you will find the Phare de Saint Marie (the lighthouse) and the Théâtre National de la Criée (the national theatre). It is also possible to make an excursion by boat to Chateau d’If. This fortress was built on an island off the coast, served as a prison for many years, and is now simply a tourist attraction.
Many bars and clubs with late closing hours are located in the harbour area. Cours Julien and Prado Beach are also popular areas for going out. The best-known dish of Marseille is bouillabaisse. It is made of a combination of various kinds of cooked fish, served with fish soup (cooking liquid) and croutons. Originally, this was a meal for the poor in which left over fish was used up. That is almost unthinkable now, because the local chefs have made bouillabaisse their top dish.
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