Here are the most fascinating Marseille fun facts!
Located in the south of France, Marseille is a beautiful city on the Mediterranean coast with 2,900 hours of sunshine throughout the year!
Did you know the port of Marseille is the biggest in France? Or that the city is famous for its soap?
Ready to learn more about Marseille fun facts? 👇
#1 The oldest city in France
Marseille was founded 2,600 years ago by Greeks from Focea (nowadays in Turkey).
#2 300 days of sunshine per year
With over 2,900 hours of sunshine throughout the year, Marseille is the sunniest city in France, a reason good enough to visit it at any point and during any season!
#3 World Water Capital
Marseille is the World Water Capital since 1996. The World Water Council headquarters sit in the Mediterranean metropolis. Their goal is to “mobilize action on critical water issues at all levels”.
#4 The biggest port in France
Marseille has the biggest commercial port in France. Most of the traded goods are oil and imports in general.
#5 City of soap
The most famous fact about Marseille is probably its history of soap. Production of soap started in the Middle Ages, because there was a surplus of raw materials, like olive oil and soda. In the year 1688, King Louis XIV passed the Edict of Colbert, which set the standards and qualifications necessary for using the revered Marseilles soap label. Today, there are still 5 original “savonneries” (soap manufacturers) in Marseille.
#6 Largest European “suburban park”
Just outside the city, the beautiful Calanques National Park is waiting for you! You can go hiking, swim in the turquoise sea or just enjoy the beautiful nature.
#7 The gateway to Provence
Marseille is located ideally in order to visit the Provence region. The city is about 45-60 minutes away from the most famous attractions: lavender fields, little medieval towns, roman archeological sites and scenic vineyards.
#8 MEININGER hotel in Marseille
Our fourth hotel in France found its place in the city center of the sunniest city across the country!
Marseille Fun Facts: FAQs
What is the historical significance of Marseille?
Marseille is the oldest city in France, founded by the Greeks around 600 BC. Its rich history spans over 2,600 years, making it a treasure trove of historical sites and artifacts.
What is unique about the Old Port of Marseille?
The Old Port of Marseille, or Vieux-Port, has been the natural harbour of the city since antiquity. It is one of the most vibrant areas of the city, bustling with restaurants, boats, and markets.
Is Marseille known for any specific type of music?
Marseille is widely recognised as the home of French rap and hip hop, producing many of France's leading rap artists and groups.
What is the significance of the Château d'If in Marseille?
The Château d'If is a fortress located on the island of If. It became famous as the prison where Edmond Dantès, the protagonist in Alexandre Dumas' novel "The Count of Monte Cristo," was held.
What is unique about the cuisine in Marseille?
Marseille is known for its diverse cuisine that reflects its rich cultural mix. The city's signature dish is bouillabaisse, a traditional Provençal fish stew originating from Marseille.
What role does Marseille play in the film and TV industry?
Marseille has been the location for numerous films and TV shows, including the French Netflix series named after the city. Its scenic locations offer a great backdrop for storytelling.
What is the importance of the Calanques National Park in Marseille?
The Calanques National Park is a natural area of significant beauty near Marseille. It's known for its stunning turquoise waters, white cliffs, and rich biodiversity.
What is the Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde?
The Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde, often referred to as the symbol of the city, is a Roman Catholic basilica located at the highest natural point in Marseille. It's a popular pilgrimage site and offers panoramic views of the city.
How is Marseille connected to the world of sports?
Marseille is home to Olympique de Marseille, one of France's most successful football clubs. The city's Stade Vélodrome is the largest club football ground in France.
Are there any famous personalities born in Marseille?
Marseille is the birthplace of several famous personalities including footballer Zinedine Zidane, French rapper Soprano, and fashion designer Simon Porte Jacquemus.