The cultural scene in Marseille continues to make the headlines. The brand new MuCEM— a landmark, Mediterranean-facing museum designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti— has just welcomed its millionth visitor. And that’s not all. On the occasion of European Heritage Days this past weekend, the Marseille History Museum opened its doors to unveil the fruits of a big makeover. After years of renovations and expansion, the site has been reborn as one of the biggest history museums in Europe.
With more than 2,600 years of history, the port of Marseille is the oldest city in France, hence it’s only natural that a cultural venue showcase that extraordinary maritime heritage. The Musée d?Histoire presents a collection of 44,000 objects and documents in 3,500 square meters of exhibits enhanced with multimedia and 3D technology. Many of these artifacts were discovered when the city’s Bourse district was renovated in 1967, revealing a necropolis from Greek times, an ancient quay, a paved Roman road, and the 5th century church of Malaval, which helps explain the roots of Christianity in western Europe.
The sprawling site also contains an auditorium, book store, and adjoining open-air archeological site. The coolest part of all: the world’s largest flotilla of ancient ships is on display. Steps away from the Vieux Port on Square Belsunce, the museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets cost 5 euros. Visitors can ogle the museum on a jam-packed day exploring the European Capital of Culture 2013.
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