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Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology (Musee d'Archeologie Mediterraneenne)
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Marseille City Pass
Ranked #32 of 237 things to do in Marseille
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Bangkok, Thailand
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Nice museum to visit”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Good illustration.I like most of the objects and the slide shows.Museum located near the old port and easy to access.

Visited May 2013
Thank dumrasliketravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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200 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2013

Great museum and history. The entire city could be viewed from the stairs. The train ride back was a nice distraction.

Visited May 2013
Thank rosefreder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
755 reviews
359 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 279 helpful votes
“Worth a visit for the site alone”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

This is an old hospice transformed into a museum
In the center of the courtyard is the Old Chapel also part of the museum
Currently there is an exhhibit showing some artifacts recently discovered while renovating the town.
Unfortunately they are only very small fragments and not all that intresting
The other collections are scattered in thebsurrounding building and include African,Oceanian and Mexican exhibits.
There is also a more traditional egyptian antique section.
While not extensive in range ,the collections are well displayed

Visited March 2013
4 Thank MILOUW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Best thing in Marseille”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Entry is about €5 which gives you access to the 1st and 2nd floors, which is where all the (what I assume is) permanent exhibitions are displayed. Students under 27 get in for free. I don't think they have any displays in the ground floor (if they do, then I missed them). The 1st floor is just general uninspiring Roman stuff (probably inspiring if you like general Roman stuff), but the 2nd floor is filled with amazing pieces from the likes of Mexico, Vanuatu, Micronesia, Polynesia and Africa - more of anthropological than archaeological interest. It seemed to not be a problem taking any photos.
The building itself is beautiful - so peaceful and 'zen' compared to the relative architectural chaos that surrounds it (in Le Panier area of Marseille).
Also, there's a really good and reasonably cheap restaurant nearby. Turn left out the gate, cross over the square, and walk up the hill for 20 metres: Clan des Cigales (on the left). You have to walk through the shop of the same name to get to the restaurant bit.

Visited February 2013
3 Thank pooyousir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Go here soon to catch an excellent exhibition!”
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Go here soon if you can to catch an excellent exhibition!

There are a number of reasons to visit La Vieille Charité (as this is often called). It is a tremendous building, built in pinkish-creamy stone during the late17th and early 18th centuries by the multi-talented Pierre Paul Puget — a French painter, sculptor, architect and engineer who was born in Marseille. The building looks immense as you approach it through narrow streets — there are no windows facing the exterior. Inside you see that it is rectangular, and made up of four sides of arcaded galleries, three storeys high, and looking onto a lovely Baroque central chapel in the centre of its courtyard. Originally it was designed as an almshouse for the poor; in fact it quickly became housing for the thousands of beggars filling Marseille from the 17th century onwards.

In the 1970s the building was painstakingly and beautifully restored, and now houses a number of museum spaces and academic institutions, a cafe and an excellent shop.

The splendid chapel is set aside for temporary exhibitions; and during this, Marseille’s year of being European Cultural Capital, it houses a wonderful small exhibition reflecting the beginnings of Marseille — its settlement by Greeks from Phocea in 600 BC. The Greeks brought many skills with them — they were experienced traders with wide Mediterranean contacts; had great skills in metallurgy, pottery and building in stone; they brought olives and vines to Provence; and they could write! — they had developed their own alphabet from the vowel-less one they had acquired from the Phoenecians. Most importantly, apparently they were able to live peacefully alongside their Celtic-Ligurian Provencal neighbours over many centuries.

The curating of this exhibition takes enormous care to communicate what the Greeks achieved in Marseille. Its excellent explanatory boards — in French, Greek and English (which should allow most visitors to be able to follow at least one of them) — pick up a variety of significant threads of their occupation in the area. The display uses the rather limited physical remains (mostly ceramic fragments) of their settlement to great effect. And then — an extraordinary achievement for the museum team — Delphi has lent the exhibition some very precious stone fragments from the ‘Treasury’ that Marseille erected in Delphi during the century after it was founded. Quite splendid 3D video graphics are used vividly alongside these stones to show what this Treasury probably looked like, how it would have been built, and what it probably contained. In building this Treasury in Delphi, and stocking it with their most prized artefacts in metal and stone, the Greek settlers in Marseille were doing what all other major Greek cities did in ancient times — displaying their success and wealth to their peers while creating a magnificent donation in the most important religious place in the Greek world.

The staff at this exhibition were immensely helpful to us, in using English where we could not follow the French, and in helping my partner, who uses a mobility scooter, to get around safely and comfortably. All parts of the exhibition were accessible to her.

Do pay a visit if you can.

Visited January 2013
5 Thank Rita D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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