Kyoto-Banner
  • SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER 2014 EDITION

    In the September and October 2014 issue of JAX FAX Travel Marketing Magazine, become more familiar with Germany's Highlights and Regional Traditions. Read More
  • JULY AND AUGUST 2014 EDITION

    Asia's Secret Country of Cool - Korea is this month's cover feature article in the July/August issue of DESTINATIONS by JAX FAX. Read More
  • MAY AND JUNE 2014 EDITION

    Find out the best tips for visiting Croatia in the spring or fall while reading the cover feature article of the May/June issue of DESTINATIONS by JAX FAX. Read More
  • MARCH AND APRIL 2014 EDITION

    Learn more about Poland's long Spa and Wellness history and current offerings while reading the cover feature article of the March/April issue of DESTINATIONS by JAX FAX. Read More
  • JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2014 EDITION

    Be inspired about Belize when reading the cover feature story in the January/February issue of DESTINATIONS by JAX FAX Marketing Magazine. Read More
  • DECEMBER 2013 EDITION

    In the December 2013 issue of JAX FAX Travel Marketing Magazine, become more familiar with Wales' many capital attractions and The Dylan Thomas 100 Festival. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

Marseille's Chic New Splendor

Written by  Monique Burns

 

Europe2In Marseille, the good times never end. Centerpiece of the Marseille-Provence 2013 Capital of Culture region, the ancient Mediterranean port city-along with neighboring cities like Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Avignon and Orange-is dazzling the world with over 400 events, including art exhibits, concerts and dance performances, festivals and food tastings, and parades and equestrian events. Festivities continue through the end of 2013 and into early 2014 (see calendar). Clients heading to Marseille this year, or in the coming spring or summer, will discover a revitalized waterfront anchored by three new world-class museums and a new five-star InterContinental hotel. And, with new XL Airways direct flights from New York to Marseille, getting to the south of France has never been easier

 

Revamped Waterfront, World-Class Museums

Formerly dismissed as grimy and crime-ridden, Marseille has undergone a major facelift. Part of the 7 billion-euro Euromediterranee project, Europe’s biggest urban redevelopment project, the Old Port and surrounding quarters have been totally reimagined. The waterfront has been turned into a stylish pedestrian zone by British architect Norman Foster, while other renowned architects like Zaha Hadid and Rudy Ricciotti have graced Marseille with stunning 21st century buildings. 

In June, France’s first national museum outside Paris, the MuCEM (www.mucem.org), or National Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations, opened. Designed by Rudy Ricciotti, the Algerian architect who designed the Louvre’s new Islamic Art wing and Menton’s new Cocteau Museum, the MuCEM marries seaside Fort St. Jean, where the 17th-century Knights of St. John of Jerusalem once held sway, with the J4, a striking new waterfront building whose lacy facade highlights Provence’s most splendid assets: the sparkling Mediterranean and the intensely brilliant sunlight. The building’s facade also recalls the lacy wood facades of traditional Moroccan dwellings-and that’s no accident. The museum’s eclectic collection, including paintings, sculpture and historic artifacts, showcases the entire Mediterranean from France, Spain, Italy and Greece to Morocco and Algeria and beyond to Israel and the Middle East. There also are three restaurants, and an aerial walkway stretching high above the sea between Fort St. Jean and the J4.

A handful of other Old Port buildings have risen or undergone massive renovations. The J1, a huge waterfront hangar, is now a cultural center with art galleries, exhibit space, a new restaurant and a bookstore. Also on the waterfront, the new CEREM, or Regional Centre of the Mediterranean, hosts film screenings, concerts and Mediterranean symposia. But crowds flock there just to see Stefano Boeri’s ground-breaking design, featuring a corbel-like structure cantilevered over the docks. The new Regards de Provence Museum (www.museeregardsdeprovence.com), once the port’s maritime sanitary station, displays photos, painting and documents in its gleaming white structure. A new Musee d’Histoire, covering the port’s history from 600 BC to today, displays Greek and Roman archeological finds. Anyone overnighting in the Old Port will find, along with deluxe Sofitel and Radisson Blu hotels, the new InterContinental Marseille-Hotel Dieu (www.intercontinental.com) with 194 rooms, two restaurants and a Clairins spa, housed in a palatial 18th-century landmark near le Panier, Marseille’s oldest district.

Just beyond the Old Port, past Marseille’s iconic Cathedrale de la Major and north of the city’s revamped Joliette quarter, the new FRAC PACA (www.fracpaca.org), or Regional Contemporary Art Collection, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, has exhibit space, a restaurant, terraces, and lodging space for resident artists. Not far away, there’s another new cultural center in the Silo d’Arenc (www.silo-marseille.fr), once used to house grain. East in the Belle de Mai quarter, La Friche de la Belle de Mai (www.lafriche.org), a renovated tobacco factory, hosts exhibits, concerts, film screenings and dance performances.

New and renovated buildings are also cropping up in neighboring cities and towns. In La Ciotat, the world’s oldest cinema, the ornate Eden Theatre, has undergone a complete renovation. In early October, its grand reopening celebration will include a formal ball, film screenings and other events. In Aix-en-Provence - also marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Albert Camus, author of the famous novel, The Stranger - the Conservatoire de Musique has reopened in a new building with a 500-seat auditorium. Meanwhile, Arles eagerly awaits the opening of Frank Gehry’s sprawling Parc des Ateliers, a veritable village of studio and exhibition space. 

From Marseille, it’s an easy trip by train, bus or rental car to cities like Aix-en-Provence, where Cezanne painted; Arles, whose countryside inspired Vincent Van Gogh; Aubagne, known for its colorful miniature figurines called santons; Avignon, with its famous Palais des Papes, and Orange, known for its splendid Roman ruins. North of Marseille, charming hilltowns like St. Remy de Provence beckon. Take in the cultural landmarks in and around Marseille, but remember that Provence is one of the world’s best places to simply slow down, sip a glass of rose or pastis, and contemplate the beauty of the countryside and the glorious Mediterranean Sea. 

For information on direct Marseille flights or connections through Paris, contact Air France (www.airfrance.us), British Airways (www.britishairways.com) and XL Airways (www.xl.com). For complete events and other details, log on to (www.mp2013.fr), (www.marseille-tourisme.fr/en), (www.tourismepaca.fr) and (www.franceguide.com).

 

Login to post comments
Consolidator Search Engine
NOTE: Search uses Airport Codes (ie: ORD vs. CHI). Lookup Airport Codes Here

Featured Sponsor

  1. Flanders
  2. Social Media
  3. Deals

Choose your package deal:


Tours to Flanders

Tours to Flanders

Cruises

Cruises

 

Unknown-1 JaxFax 162x135
EcoAmerica Tours banner
JAXFAX Banner Rotate Skybird162x135
XL-132x110 SITA0112sp
Skylink-banner-135x165 162x135
argentina-162x135-2013
banner Poland JaxFaxBanner 1
GTNBannerAd  06140893-JaxFax-NexionBanner 135x165
andavo ic banner-135x165  1025-JaxFAxWebBanner
   
Developed by Interwave Concepts, Inc.