Les gîtes du Palais

The district of Palais Longchamp

Located in the district of Five Avenues, the Palace was built from 1862 by the municipality to celebrate the arrival of the waters of the Durance in the city, via the Canal de Marseille. The works of the Palace were directed by the architect Henri-Jacques Espérandieu and completed in 1869 for budgetary reasons. Under its circular colonnade, the Palace houses two museums: the Museum of Fine Arts in its left wing and the Museum of Natural History in its right wing. The gardens of the Palace also hosted until 1987 a zoo. They currently house the Marseille Observatory.

The Palais Longchamp: a solution for access to drinking water in the heart of Marseille In 1835, an epidemic of cholera struck the Phocaean city because of the lack of water purification. After this tragedy, the engineer Franz Mayor of Montricher built a project dating back to the 16th century. It was to dig a canal of 85 kilometers, which would bring water from the Durance to Marseille. After 10 years of work, 18 aqueducts will be built to transport drinking water. The architect Henry Esperandieu, known for having designed the Basilica of Our Lady of the Guard, will realize the water tower.


Two museums to visit during your stay in Marseille After the inauguration of the building in 1869, several artists gathered to decorate the Palais Longchamp with their works. At the entrance, you can admire the lions and tigers of the animal sculptor Antoine Louis Bayre while in the center sits a superb monumental fountain by Jules Cavelier. Enjoy your stay in Marseille to stroll through the botanical garden of the palace or stroll through its museums. In the left wing of the building, you will find the Museum of Fine Arts, which still preserves paintings and drawings dating from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.

It is currently considered the oldest museum in Marseille, due to its opening in 1801. In the right wing of the palace, the museum of natural history is installed since 1869. It includes several collections of cabinets of curiosities dating from the eighteenth century, from either the city or the state. His exhibitions earned him the title of first category of museum in 1967, like 9 other major French museums.

The observatory : a scientific attraction accessible to all Considered as the oldest scientific establishment in Marseille, the observatory settled on the Longchamp plateau in 1864. It was equipped with the largest telescope in the world (80cm diameter) for a century. The place has served as a major research laboratory for more than 140 years. The researchers have today left the site for the Technopôle of Château-Gombert. Currently, the domain is open to the public, and more particularly to school groups. The association Andromeda, offers activities dedicated to astronomy, such as planetarium sessions, exhibition tours, and even the big telescope. One can also attend conferences or participate in observations of the moon and the sun. A very good outing to propose to your children if you make a stay in Marseille with your family.

Useful information :

How to come ?
From the station, take metro 1 towards La Rose and get off at Cinq-Avenues – Longchamp station. At the exit you are on the Boulevard Jardin Zoologique take on your right and go down to the crossing. Take the first right on Philippon Boulevard. Cross as soon as possible and take the second right, rue Consolat, the entrance to your home is at the corner between the boulevard and rue Consolat.

To move, to park :
In this quiet area, but easy access to the city center, you will have a few steps all transport: bus, tram, metro Parking Vallier is the closest. There are also platforms for exchanges between individuals, some examples :

Have to do :
The Palais Longchamp is one of the important monuments of Marseille. Located near the center of the city, the Old Port and Gare Saint Charles, this palace dates from the middle of the 19th century. It was built to accommodate in Marseille the waters of the Durance. Stroll on the Canebière, impossible to visit the Phocaean city without passing by the famous avenue, which connects the Old Port to the church of the Reformed Diving at the Vallier Swimming Pool, offering different aquatic activities.

Restaurants :
Chez Vincent: Grill, pizzas and Mediterranean or Italian dishes in this rustic and cozy restaurant with stone walls. La Table Cinq: Creative contemporary cuisine in a modern, uncluttered decor for this restaurant with indoor wooded terrace. Have a drink at Comptoir Longchamp Bar

Where to shop :
Fifty minutes walk: Casino at 4 Avenue du Marechal Foch, Monoprix at 10 rue Maréchal Fayollé, Epicerie Paysanne neighborhood 71 rue Léon Bourgeois and Picard at 199 Boulevard de la Libération. La Banettine bakery at 102 rue Consolat.