Marseille is a historic city in the South of France, considered to be one of the oldest in Europe. Founded by Greek traders almost 3,000 years ago, Marseille has always been a city of the sea and a city of commerce. The city, an easy three hour high-speed train ride from Paris, is becoming a more popular tourist stop for Americans and is well worth a visit. With 300 days of sunshine a year, friendly people and some of the best food in France, it certainly has a lot to offer. The city is also home to some incredible museums, here are my five favorites:
Musee d’Histoire de Marseille
The Museum of Marseille History has a huge space in the center of the city on Square Belsunce. It’s an odd combination as it’s connected to a very modern shopping mall on one side and features some ancient ruins on the other. The museum is closed on Mondays.
MuCEM The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civlizations is one of the newest and best museums in Europe. It was created from a fort and several historic buildings right on the Old Port area. The museum traces the history of civilization as it grew and developed in the area. The MuCEM museum is closed on Tuesdays.
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Palais Longchamp The city’s large art museum was purpose-built in the late 19th century. The Musee des Beaux-Arts is in the ornate Palais Longchamp and houses a large collection of old masters, Impressionists and other major works of art. The museum is in central Marseille at 7 rue Edouard Stephan. This museum is open seven days a week with a late opening at noon on Thursdays.
Musee des arts decoratifs, de la faïence et de la mode – Chateau Borely The Museum of Decorative Arts, Ceramics and Fashion, is home to a large collection of objects, dating back to the 18th century. It’s a fascinating collection and and is housed in the former summer home of one of the city’s richest families, built around 1770. The museum is closed on Mondays and is located at the Chateau Borely, 134 avenue Clot Bey.
Musee Cantini The Cantini Museum is the city’s modern art museum, covering works in the 20th century. It’s housed in a historic building and features both a great permanent collection as well as a nice schedule of temporary exhibitions. The museum, at 19 rue Grignan, is closed on Mondays.
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