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TRAVEL DESTINATIONS A Year Round Travel Destination
 

A Year Round Travel Destination

By: John Parks | Mar 19 2009 | 517 words | 1302 hits

Marseille is the oldest city in France. Ancient cave paintings in the area suggest that humans have lived in the are for at least 20,000 years. Throughout history, Marseille's location on the Mediterranean have made it an important maritime city and today it is the country's largest commercial port. Marseille lies east of the Rhone delta and is the second largest city in France. A center for trade and industry, Marseille's airport is the fourth largest in France. It is also a main tourist destination for millions of visitors each year. Visitors come to Marseille for its unique character and scenic beauty as well as its long and fascinating history. While in Marseille, travelers visit can museums, galleries, restaurants and shops throughout the city. Some of the most visited sites include: Abbey Saint Victor; Basilique St Victor: The foundations of this structure date back to early Christian times. The towers and turrets that tourists see today date from the 11th to the 14th centuries. Inside, there is an original chapel which houses a 13th century Black Madonna. Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde: The first thing a visitor to this site will notice is the stunning panoramic view. The limestone hill on which the Basilique is set was used as a lookout point for guards of the city. It also served as a relay station during the 15th century - the royal intelligence network sent smoke and light signals to their compatriots far away. Today it is a landmark which can be seen from land and sea. A gilded Madonna adorns the belfry. Château d'If: Located southwest of the city, this fortified rock island is a literary landmark made famous in the novel Ãâ‚ÅThe Count of Monte CristoÃâ‚ by Alexandre Dumas. Built 1524, the one-time prison has a beautiful view of the Bay of Marseille. Old Harbor/Vieux Port: In the western part of the city, there is a charming port now used primarily for fishing and pleasure boats. A fish market and lively waterfront make this a prime stop for tourists. There are two fortresses at the entrance to the port. Palais Longchamp: Traveling east through the city, visitors will find the Palais Longchamp with its many museums and fountains. Build in the late 1860s, this is the site of Marseille' natural History Museum and Zoological Garden. Quartier du Panier Quartier du Panier: This is a very old district with narrow streets and colorful homes. Overlooking the Old Port, this area was settled by ancient Phocaeans. Vieille Charite: Once a hospice for the poor, this architectural landmark was designed and built by Jean and Pierre Puget between 1671 and 1749. It is not a scientific and cultural center. Marseille, France is a city rich in history and culture and this list of sites and attractions are by no means complete. Within its borders and surrounding areas, visitors will find an endless array of sites that are significant for their history, natural beauty and fascinating culture. Combined with its mild Mediterranean climate, Marseille is a year-round travel destination for visitors from around the globe. For more information on Marseille, France visit http://marseillemicroblog.com and http://francemicroblog.com

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