Marseille is also France's largest commercial port. From old times Marseille had an important role of linking French Empire to its North African colonies of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. This has attracted many immigrants and made this city a true melting pot. These days over one third of the population can trace their roots back to Italy, it has a second largest Corsican and Armenian communities in France, as well as others such as Maghrebis, Turks, Chinese, Vietnamese and Comorians.
The most prominent sightseeing you cannot miss is The Old Port, or Vieux-Port. The northern part of it was mostly rebuilt after its destruction by the Nazis in 1943.
The Cathedral of Saint-Marie-Majeure was founded in the 4th century but now we are looking at the completely rebuilt cathedral from the 19th century in Romano-Byzantine style. Only transept, choir and altar survived from the medieval times.
And of course if you go to Marseille, you have to indulge yourself with some local specialties like bouillabaisse (the most famous seafood dish of this area which is a combination of the freshest 3 types of local fish, some seafood, and potatoes and veggies - yummy!), pastis (an alcoholic drink made with aniseed and some other spices, a distant relative of Absinthe), panisse (a pastry made from chickpea flour), tapenade (a paste made from a variety of olives, capers, and olive oil), and pistou (somewhat similar to the Italian pesto).
The MuCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations)
The 'Unicorn' sculpture by Dali
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Labels: bouillabaisse France Marseille Cathedral of Sainte-Marie-Majeure La Major Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations Phare de Sainte Marie Villa Mediterannée Musée Regards de Provence