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Marseille: Canebière

Marseille's main drag

Leading directly from the Vieux Port, the Canebière is Marseille’s renowned main street dating from the 17th century and named after the old hemp rope works (canèbe means hemp in Provençal) which used to be here.

At the height of its fame in the first half of the 20th century when it was the centre of cultural life, there were songs and even operettas written about it. Listen to Cane, Cane Canebière by the chanteur (singer) Alibert.

Fashionable cafés, cinemas, variety theatres and famous departmetal stores were all located here. After the War things were never quite the same however and despite attempts to update the area it remains fascinating albeit a little down at heel.


Neverthelss, there is plenty to see here including the Musée d’Histoire de Marseille and the Jardin de Vestiges or Archeological Garden. Le shopping is nearby too! Turn south at the Noailles Metro station into the Boulevard Garibaldi and then bear left into Cours Julien and it’s all here!

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Département: Bouches-du-Rhône.


Shops & Shopping

A Boat Trip to the Calanques

Cassis and the colossal Calanques

St Rémy to Arles In-A-Day

In the Footsteps of Van Gogh

Text © Paul Shawcross

Images by Paul Shawcross, Photo by yisris