Marseille, France – A Masterpiece of Contrasts

Some 10+ years ago my family and I took a road trip to Spain, but somewhere in France we got lost and accidentally got into Marseille.
I didn’t get to see much of it back then, but a few glimpses were enough to fill my hungry nomad eyes with wonder!

Over the years I heard and read contrasting things about this city. So FFW August 2019, I decide to go and explore Marseille by myself.

Notre Dame de la Garde, though not Marseille’s cathedral, is probably the city’s most iconic religious tourist attraction. The basilica is located on a hill, not far from the city center, and offers a bird-eye view of the whole city.

Looking towards the Mediterranean, you can see the upper-middleclass neighborhoods on the left, the Vieux Port and city center on the right, while working-class neighborhoods sprawl out towards the hills.

Marseille is known to be the most socially unequal city in France – hence its fame of city of contrasts – but that has to be read in context. No doubt there is still much work to be done in order to overcome these inequalities, yet anyone who has ever traveled to a developing country would not find Marseille extreme.

Marseille is a city of contrasts, but man, what a masterpiece it is!

PS: Marseille is a beautiful city, yet what I loved most about it were the “Calanques”. I’ll talk about them in my next post.

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